PHIL TAYLOR will begin the defence of his TABtouch Perth Darts Masters title against New Zealand's Craig Caldwell on Friday, while Michael van Gerwen faces David Platt in the first round of the PDC World Series of Darts event.
Taylor, the 16-time World Champion, took victory in the inaugural Perth Darts Masters last summer, defeating van Gerwen in the final at the HBF Stadium.
Taylor has also won the previous two Sydney Darts Masters titles and was victorious in June's Japan Darts Masters.
His challenge to retain the title in Perth, the first of three World Series of Darts events in Australia and New Zealand this month, will see him come up against DPNZ qualifier Caldwell.
Caldwell has twice previously represented New Zealand in the PDC World Cup of Darts, and will be making his World Series of Darts debut this month with appearances in both Perth and Sydney.
World number one van Gerwen will open up his challenge in Friday's first round against Platt, UK-born, Perth based thrower who also competed in Perth last summer and is a former World Championship and UK Open qualifier.
World Champion and Premier League champion Gary Anderson will play Kim Lewis, the Perth-based qualifier who won his spot in last weekend's final knockouts at the Rendezvous Hotel in Scarborough.
The other qualifier from last weekend, Perth's Adam Rowe, has drawn James Wade, with the world number six having celebrated his wedding to partner Sammi before the newlyweds jetted out to Australia.
Number three seed Peter Wright, the Japan Darts Masters runner-up recently, will take on Australian World Cup of Darts ace Paul Nicholson, the former Players Championship Finals winner, in their opening clash at the HBF Stadium.
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis is up against DPA Australian Grand Prix number one Loz Ryder, who followed up last year's appearances in Perth and Sydney by reaching the second round of the World Championship at Alexandra Palace.
Stephen Bunting, last year's Sydney Darts Masters runner-up, will face Perth's Kyle Anderson in a tasty first round contest, with the Australian ace having made huge strides in the past 18 months on the PDC circuit, including last month's World Matchplay qualification.
Another huge clash sees five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld drawn against top Australian Simon Whitlock, the former European Championship winner and last year's Singapore Darts Masters runner-up.
TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
First Round Draw & Tournament Draw Bracket
Phil Taylor (1) v Craig Caldwell
Stephen Bunting (8) v Kyle Anderson
Adrian Lewis (5) v Loz Ryder
Gary Anderson (4) v Kim Lewis
Michael van Gerwen (2) v David Platt
Raymond van Barneveld (7) v Simon Whitlock
James Wade (6) v Adam Rowe
Peter Wright (3) v Paul Nicholson
Schedule of Play
Friday August 14 (7pm-11pm)
James Wade v Adam Rowe
Gary Anderson v Kim Lewis
Adrian Lewis v Loz Ryder
Phil Taylor v Craig Caldwell
Stephen Bunting v Kyle Anderson
Peter Wright v Paul Nicholson
Raymond van Barneveld v Simon Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen v David Platt
Best of 11 legs
Saturday August 15 (7pm-10.30pm)
Best of 15 legs
Sunday August 16 (7pm-10.30pm)
Semi-Finals & Final
Semi-Finals best of 19 legs
Final best of 21 legs
The TABtouch Perth Darts Masters will be held from Friday August 14-Sunday August 16 at the HBF Stadium in Perth. For tickets, visitwww.downunderevents.com.au.
The TABtouch Perth Darts Masters will be broadcast live on Fox Sports in Australia and worldwide through the PDC's series of broadcast partners, as well as online through www.LIVEPDC.TV for International Pass Subscribers.
Coverage of the TABtouch Perth Darts Masters on ITV4 in the UK will be shown delayed at 8pm (BST) on Friday August 14, Saturday August 15 and Sunday August 16.
Television Coverage (Live unless stated)
Fox Sports - Australia
Sky - New Zealand
ITV4 - UK (delayed, from 8pm BST each day)
RTL7 - Netherlands (delayed, highlights from 10pm Dutch time on Friday & Saturday and 10.15pm on Sunday)
OSN - Middle East & North Africa
Setanta - Ireland
PPTV - China
www.LIVEPDC.TV for International Pass Subscribers outside of UK, Ireland & Netherlands.