partypoker.com World Grand Prix Draw
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN will begin the defence of his partypoker.com World Grand Prix title with a clash against Canadian great John Part next month, while ten-time champion Phil Taylor drew Jamie Caven in the first round of the double-start event.
Van Gerwen claimed his first major PDC title 12 months ago when he came from 4-2 down to defeat Mervyn King 6-4 at Dublin's Citywest Hotel.
The Dutch star will open his bid to retain the title against three-time World Champion Part, a former World Grand Prix finalist, in this year's seven-day event, which is being held from October 7-13.
World Champion Phil Taylor, who has mastered the double-start format with ten previous wins since the World Grand Prix was introduced in 1998, will meet Derby's Jamie Caven in their first round game.
Taylor also has a potential second round clash with Robert Thornton, who knocked him out of last year's event in Dublin, should the Scot overcome Paul Nicholson in their opener.
World number three Adrian Lewis, July's European Champion and the 2010 World Grand Prix runner-up, drew 2011 finalist Brendan Dolan for their first round clash, with the Northern Irish star having fond memories of the event after hitting the first double-start nine-dart finish two years ago.
Number four seed Simon Whitlock has drawn Northern Ireland's Michael Mansell, while 2007 and 2010 World Grand Prix champion James Wade will meet Steve Beaton, who ended a four-year title drought on Sunday with victory in the German Darts Masters.
Number six seed Andy Hamilton takes on Kim Huybrechts, Dave Chisnall drew Ian White in a clash of two recent PDC ProTour winners, while world number eight Wes Newton has drawn in-form Peter Wright, who is close to breaking into the world's top 16.
2005 World Grand Prix champion Colin Lloyd will open up against Ronnie Baxter, while former finalist Raymond van Barneveld will take on Cheshire debutant Stuart Kellett.
Gary Anderson will face Jelle Klaasen, Ireland's Connie Finnan takes on Terry Jenkins, Kevin Painter drew Richie Burnett and Justin Pipe, the world number nine, plays Andy Smith in the first round.
Wayne Jones, whose run to the German Darts Masters semi-finals saw him qualify on the final weekend before the cut-off for the 32-player field, has draw King in the other first round tie, which will give the Wolverhampton ace a chance to avenge his loss in the last four in Sindelfingen.
The first round of the partypoker.com World Grand Prix will be split across Monday October 7 and Tuesday October 8, with eight games being played per night over the best of three sets in the quickfire, double-start format.
The second round is split across Wednesday October 9 and Thursday October 10, with the quarter-finals taking place on Friday October 11.
The semi-finals will be held on Saturday October 12, with the World Grand Prix final on Sunday October 13 to be preceded by the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final - which sees Finnan play Colin McGarry for the top domestic title.
Tickets for the partypoker.com World Grand Prix are still available by visiting pdc.seetickets.com or by calling 0844 871 8807 (UK) or 0044 114 223 9817 (non-UK).
The schedule of play will be announced in due course.
partypoker.com World Grand Prix
First Round Draw & Tournament Bracket
Phil Taylor (1) v Jamie Caven
Paul Nicholson v Robert Thornton
Wes Newton (8) v Peter Wright
Gary Anderson v Jelle Klaasen
James Wade (5) v Steve Beaton
Connie Finnan v Terry Jenkins
Simon Whitlock (4) v Michael Mansell
Ronnie Baxter v Colin Lloyd
Michael van Gerwen (2) v John Part
Stuart Kellett v Raymond van Barneveld
Dave Chisnall (7) v Ian White
Wayne Jones v Mervyn King
Andy Hamilton (6) v Kim Huybrechts
Kevin Painter v Richie Burnett
Adrian Lewis (3) v Brendan Dolan
Justin Pipe v Andy Smith
partypoker.com World Grand Prix Qualifiers
Top 16 from PDC Order of Merit
Phil Taylor (seed 1), Michael van Gerwen (2), Adrian Lewis (3). Simon Whitlock (4), James Wade (5), Andy Hamilton (6), Dave Chisnall (7), Wes Newton (8), Justin Pipe, Raymond van Barneveld, Robert Thornton, Kevin Painter, Mervyn King, Brendan Dolan, Kim Huybrechts, Terry Jenkins
Top 14 Non-Qualified Players from ProTour Order of Merit
Peter Wright, Jamie Caven, John Part, Paul Nicholson, Stuart Kellett, Ian White, Steve Beaton, Gary Anderson, Ronnie Baxter, Colin Lloyd, Andy Smith, Jelle Klaasen, Richie Burnett, Wayne Jones
Top Two Non-Qualified Players from Ireland/Northern Ireland from ProTour Order of Merit
Connie Finnan, Michael Mansell