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PDC - Darts: Queensland Darts Masters preview

The big stars of PDC darts are heading Down Under this week with the first of three World Series events taking place in Townsville from Friday to Saturday.

Eight of the biggest names have been invited including Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price, and Fallon Sherrock, while the rest of the field will be made up by native stars.

Current tour card holders Simon Whitlock, Damon Heta, and Gordon Mathers have been joined by five qualifiers who will hope to make their mark on the tournament.

It marks a first return to Australia for the non-ranking World Series tournaments since 2019.

What

Queensland Darts Masters

Where

Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre, Townsville, Australia

When

Friday 12th August - Saturday 13th August

How to watchITV4
Odds

Michael van Gerwen 11/4, Gerwyn Price 9/2, Dimitri van den Bergh 5/1, Michael Smith 6/1, Jonny Clayton 6/1

Matchplay champ MVG ready to showcase his ability

Dutchman Van Gerwen has enjoyed a year of resurgence after a barren 2021 in which he failed to win any ranking major.

It was the World Series where he enjoyed his only TV success in 2021, holding off a brilliant Sherrock challenge in the Nordic Darts Masters.

This year has been much more like it, with the 33-year-old victorious in both the Premier League and recent World Matchplay, where he staged a stunning final fightback against Price.

All of that has come despite wrist troubles, with Van Gerwen undergoing surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome in the aftermath of his Premier League success.

It means he has had to pick and choose tournaments to play in - he missed the latest batch of Players Championship events in Barnsley which concluded last week - but now he is ready to go Down Under for the first time in three years.

Van Gerwen has won four World Series titles in the southern hemisphere and will back himself to grab another.

Van den Bergh to make the most of opportunity

Dimitri van den Bergh was all set for a quiet month off just a couple of weeks ago, but health problems for Peter Wright saw him decide to pull out, which has handed a wonderful chance to the Belgian ace.

He has been the best player in this year's World Series so far, winning both the Nordic Darts Masters and Dutch Darts Masters.

Gary Anderson was the man he beat 11-5 in Denmark, before he overcame Dirk Van Duijvenbode 8-2 on home soil to pick up the Dutch crown.

Van den Bergh has always thrived when playing on the big stage, with his World Matchplay triumph two years ago evidence of that.

He heads to Townsville as the number one seed which may give him an extra boost when making his walk-on.

All eyes on Sherrock

There is likely to be more fanfare for Sherrock, who finally gets her chance to play Down Under after her initial World Championship success when beating Ted Evetts - the game that saw her become a household name.

She has had a mixed time in previous World Series events this year - she badly underperformed against Leonard Gates in the US Darts Masters at Madison Square Gardens.

It was a big improvement at the Nordic Darts Masters as she beat Darius Labanauskas before losing to Michael Smith, but another below-par display in the Netherlands means she will be determined to put on a show in Townsville.

Sherrock does at least arrive on the back of success in the UK, having won the maiden edition of the Women's Matchplay and there is no doubt she will have the backing of the fans inside.

She is 66/1 to win her first-ever World Series title.

World Cup duo the locals to avoid

Damon Heta and Simon Whitlock make the trip back to their homeland as World Cup winners after they beat Welsh pair Price and Jonny Clayton in June.

The World Series is where it all began for Heta as he won the Brisbane Darts Masters back in 2019 as one of the Australian Darts Masters, beating Rob Cross in the final.

That gave him the confidence to enter Q School in 2020 and a mere two-and-a-half years later he is ranked 19 in the world and regarded as one of the most dangerous players on tour.

Whitlock has been around the block much longer and the World Cup triumph could spark a renaissance with the Wizard's form over the past couple of years starting to decline.

Both players will be ones to avoid for the eight other PDC representatives - Heta is 12/1 for an outright win while Whitlock is priced at 33/1.

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