Speedy Services UK Open - Thursday
PHIL TAYLOR and James Wade avoided upsets as they progressed to the third round of the Speedy Services UK Open with victories on Thursday's opening night in Bolton, as Ted Hankey won through to a battle of World Champions with John Part in the last 64 of the event.
World Champion Taylor, a four-time UK Open champion, defeated Kevin Dowling 5-1 in his second round clash at the Reebok Stadium, returning from a break in Tenerife with a 102 average and a 124 checkout in a strong win over the design engineer from Coventry.
Taylor has now drawn Ronny Huybrechts in the third round, with the Belgian facing a baptism of fire on his UK Open debut after earning a last 64 spot by being amongst the top 32 qualifiers following a series of eight events for professionals.
"The break has been great for me and I'm raring to go here, as I showed against Kevin," said Taylor. "It was nervewracking playing on the opening night amongst so many players, so I'm delighted to have got through it.
"It's a longer format in the third round so I can relax a bit more, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend now."
Two-time UK Open champion Wade, meanwhile, impressed with three victories on the opening night as he moved into the last 64, where he now plays former Bolton quarter-finalist Jamie Caven.
Wade opened the tournament with a strong display to defeat Speedy Qualifier Robbie Green 5-2 on the main stage, hitting three 180s, before whitewashing Matt Gallett and Wayne Jones on the outside boards to move into Friday's third round.
He was joined in the last 64 by two-time World Champion Ted Hankey, who marked his first major event since suffering a minor stroke at the Grand Slam of Darts last November by defeating Germany's Bernd Roith and Bristol's Dave Weston to progress.
Hankey has drawn Canada's three-time World Champion John Part in a high-profile third round game, and said: "It was good to be back on stage and hopefully I can keep moving forward now.
"It's been a frightening time and I've changed a lot of things in the last six months, but I'm starting to build my game again and I'm excited. I'm scoring well and if I can put my scoring and finishing together, I'll be hard to beat."
Two other former Lakeside Champions, Jelle Klaasen and Richie Burnett, also won through on Thursday night.
Klaasen came from 4-2 down against Gareth Pass to take a 5-4 victory, and he now plays Bolton-based Ross Smith in the third round, while Burnett also went the distance in his victory over Derbyshire-based debutant Ricky Sudale.
Burnett now takes on another Welsh World Champion, Mark Webster, and said: "I dug in really well there and it will give me a lot of confidence.
"I'm really relieved to be through because I've been struggling a bit of late, but who knows what can happen this weekend now!"
Gillingham-based bricklayer Conan Whitehead enjoyed a dream night as he knocked out 2004 champion Roland Scholten 5-4 on the main stage before seeing off Kevin Thomas 5-1 to reach the third round.
"It feels great," said Whitehead, one of four of the 32 Speedy Amateur Qualifiers who has reached the third round. "It's been a very good night and I can't wait to get back here on Friday night.
"You can't ask for any more than two great wins like that, and the support I've had with my wife, my dad and friends from my local darts league cheering me on has been superb. It's been a brilliant experience so far."
Whitehead was joined in the last 64 by Scottish-based Andy Boulton, who defeated Paul Whitworth and Scott Robertson on Thursday, Wolverhampton's Dean Stewart, who won three games on the night, and St Helens' Stephen Bunting.
Bunting, the current World Masters winner, was defeated by James Wade on the opening night last year but returned to Bolton with wins over Vernon Shepphard, Darrell Thorpe and Jason Wilson.
Bunting has drawn Portsmouth's Andy Jenkins, who edged out Nigel Heydon 5-4, while Boulton drew world number six Andy Hamilton and Stewart now meets Adrian Gray, who went to a deciding leg against both Steve Brown and Connie Finnan on Thursday.
Former UK Open finalist Vincent van der Voort avoided a preliminary round scare against Scottish qualifier Andy Murray, but later lost to Kirk Shepherd, with the 2008 World Championship finalist also defeating Magnus Caris in progressing to the third round.
Colin Osborne, the 2009 UK Open runner-up, saw off Steve Hine and Mark Dudbridge before losing out narrowly to Northamptonshire's Matthew Edgar, who will play reigning UK Open champion Robert Thornton in Friday's third round.
Man of the moment Michael van Gerwen, the number one seed after winning five of the eight qualifying events, will play Mervyn King in the third round, while two-time champion Raymond van Barneveld plays PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion Michael Smith.
Simon Whitlock has drawn Wes Newton, Belgian ace Kim Huybrechts faces Germany's Jyhan Artut and Adrian Lewis will face Walsall-based University student Matthew Dennant.
Stay in touch with the very latest from the Speedy Services UK Open throughout the weekend through the OfficialPDC Social Media Channels:
Twitter.com/OfficialPDC - use the #SpeedyUKOpen
Also stay connected with Speedy Services through their @SpeedySports Twitter page!
UK TV coverage live on Sky Sports - alongside international broadcasts through RTL7 in the Netherlands, Sport1 in Germany, OSN across the Middle East, Fox Sports Australia and Sky New Zealand.
LIVEPDC.TV International Pass Subscribers (outside of the UK, Ireland & Holland) can also watch live coverage from the whole tournament in www.LIVEPDC.TV.
Speedy Services UK Open
Thursday June 6
Robbie Green 2-5 James Wade
Vincent van der Voort 5-4 Andy Murray
Nick Fullwell 1-5 Wayne Jones
Colin Osborne 5-3 Steve Hine
Steve Farmer 5-3 Chris Aubrey
Stuart Lowe 1-5 Jake Pennington
Gino Vos 5-3 Alan Derrett
Keegan Brown 5-3 Keith Rooney
Stephen Bunting 5-0 Vernon Sheppard
Connie Finnan 5-2 Campbell Jackson
Scott Coleman 5-0 Mark McGeeney
Michael Musto 1-5 Bernd Roith
Maik Langendorf 5-2 Tony Martin
Darren Johnson 5-3 Antonio Alcinas
Royden Lam 5-2 Paddy Meaney
Tony West 5-3 Jamie Lewis
Tam Dymond 1-5 Gavin Baker
Terry Dunford 1-5 Dean Stewart
Conan Whitehead 5-4 Roland Scholten
James Hubbard 5-2 John Scott
Mark Lawrence 5-4 Mensur Suljovic
Darrell Thorpe 0-5 Stephen Bunting
Dave Weston 5-4 Dean Winstanley
Paul Whitworth 2-5 Andy Boulton
Justin Pipe 2-5 Gareth Pass
Steve Farmer 2-5 Gaz Cousins
Michael Burgoine 5-0 Daz Twist
James Wade 5-0 Matt Gallett
Prakash Jiwa 5-2 Darren Johnson
Gary Stone 5-4 Maik Langendorf
Jason Wilson 5-2 Tomas Seyler
Steve Brown 4-5 Adrian Gray
Gavin Baker 4-5 Dave Place
Tony West 3-5 Jake Pennington
Andy Parsons 5-3 Jamie Hagen
Andrew McNicol 2-5 Steven Mead
Bernd Roith 3-5 Ted Hankey
Shaun Griffiths 2-5 Keegan Brown
Michael Bushby 5-4 John Mortimer
Nigel Daniels 1-5 Johnny Haines
Scott Coleman 3-5 Scott Marsh
Connie Finnan 5-1 Gino Vos
Matthew Dennant 5-3 Darrell Townsend
Matt Padgett 5-0 David Copley
Dean Stewart 5-3 Gus Santana
Vincent van der Voort 3-5 Kirk Shepherd
Robbie Singleton 1-5 William O'Connor
Leon De Geus 3-5 Scott Robertson
Colin Osborne 5-4 Mark Dudbridge
Wayne Jones 5-3 Royden Lam
Ricky Sudale 4-5 Richie Burnett
Kevin Dowling 1-5 Phil Taylor
Matthew Edgar 5-4 Colin Osborne
Ted Hankey 5-1 Dave Weston
Alex Roy 4-5 Mark Cox
Jake Pennington 3-5 Steve West
Magnus Caris 1-5 Kirk Shepherd
Joey Palfreyman 5-3 Keegan Brown
Adam Hunt 5-1 Paul Amos
Scott Marsh 0-5 Jyhan Artut
Connie Finnan 4-5 Adrian Gray
Stephen Bunting 5-2 Jason Wilson
Colin Fowler 4-5 Matt Padgett
Gary Stone 1-5 Dennis Smith
James Wade 5-0 Wayne Jones
Steven Mead 3-5 Dean Stewart
Co Stompe 4-5 Michael Mansell
Peter Hudson 4-5 Mark Lawrence
James Hubbard 3-5 Andy Smith
Michael Bushby 1-5 Jim Walker
Mark Walsh 4-5 Lee Palfreyman
Arron Monk 2-5 Gaz Cousins
Scott Robertson 4-5 Andy Boulton
Gareth Pass 4-5 Jelle Klaasen
Ricky Evans 2-5 Joe Cullen
Terry Temple 5-1 Prakash Jiwa
David Place 2-5 John Henderson
William O'Connor 5-2 Johnny Haines
Andy Jenkins 5-4 Nigel Heydon
Michael Burgoine 4-5 Richie Howson
Kevin Thomas 1-5 Conan Whitehead
Matthew Dennant 5-2 Andy Parsons
Third Round Draw
Mark Webster v Richie Burnett
John Part v Ted Hankey
Phil Taylor v Ronny Huybrechts
Michael van Gerwen v Mervyn King
Kim Huybrechts v Jyhan Artut
Simon Whitlock v Wes Newton
Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith
Adrian Lewis v Matthew Dennant
Steve West v Ian White
Matt Padgett v Richie Howson
Mark Lawrence v Terry Temple
Conan Whitehead v Michael Mansell
Kevin McDine v Adam Hunt
Peter Wright v Gaz Cousins
Steve Beaton v Joey Palfreyman
Adrian Gray v Dean Stewart
John Henderson v Scott Rand
Dave Chisnall v William O'Connor
James Wade v Jamie Caven
Robert Thornton v Matthew Edgar
John Bowles v Paul Nicholson
Terry Jenkins v Jim Walker
Ken MacNeil v Ronnie Baxter
Andy Hamilton v Andy Boulton
Stephen Bunting v Andy Jenkins
Kirk Shepherd v Mark Cox
Stuart Kellett v Dennis Smith
Kevin Painter v Jason Hogg
Lee Palfreyman v Joe Cullen
Ross Smith v Jelle Klaasen
Brendan Dolan v Colin Lloyd
Gary Anderson v Andy Smith