BARNEY AND WHITLOCK TURN ON THE STYLE AS DOLAN ALSO EASES THROUGH


RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD and Simon Whitlock breezed through the first round of the William Hill World Darts Championship with straight sets victories as Brendan Dolan also progressed on Tuesday at London's Alexandra Palace. 

Five-time World Champion Van Barneveld produced finishes of 120 and 156 in a wonderful display as he dropped just two legs in defeating Robbie Green. 

The Dutch great, who last reached the final in 2009, will face Alan Norris in the last 32 following a classy performance in which he averaged over 98.

"It was tougher than it looked," said van Barneveld, who knocked out world number one Michael van Gerwen on his way to last year's semi-finals.

"The first set was the key. It was important but it's still not easy because I know what Robbie can do.

"To play on this stage is the best thing we darts players do and I love it and will try to make it continue."

2010 finalist Whitlock reached the second round for the first time in three years with a fabulous display of finishing against German qualifier Dragutin Horvat.

Horvat had earlier come from a set down to defeat Russia's Boris Koltsov 2-1 in their preliminary round tie, but had no answer to a fine performance from the number 17 seed.

The Australian, who has won two Players Championship events in 2016, ended the match with back-to-back checkouts of 170 and 158 as he set up a second round clash with Darren Webster, who defeated Whitlock at Ally Pally two years ago and at last month's Players Championship Finals.

"I've got revenge on my mind but I'll enjoy this win first," said Whitlock, who reached the semi-finals in 2014 when he last got past the first round stage.

"I'm really happy. I love a 170 as everyone knows, but I've been playing really well again recently and it feels like it's all coming good for me at the right time.

"I played well but I know I can play better and I will have to against Darren and if I go even further in the tournament."

Former World Grand Prix finalist Dolan averaged over 95 and took out a 102 finish in an assured display against Dutchman Kist, who reached a Players Championship final in 2016 but saw his campaign end in disappointment.

"I was happy with that - especially my finishing," said Dolan, who had a double success rate of 56 percent.

"I've struggled for 18 months but my form is coming back. I've got more determination, confidence and drive than ever before and I'm so pleased to get through.

"I've never really have had a good run here but on that World Championship stage, anything is possible."

The first round action continues on Wednesday as number six seed James Wade takes on Belgium’s Ronny Huybrechts and eighth seed Mensur Suljovic faces Ron Meulenkamp.

2015 World Grand Prix Champion Robert Thornton will also take to the stage against the winner of the preliminary round clash between Austria’s Zoran Lerchbacher and Plymouth’s Simon Stevenson. 

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William Hill World Darts Championship
Tuesday December 20 

Boris Koltsov 1-2 Dragutin Horvat (P)
Brendan Dolan (23) 3-1 Christian Kist
Raymond van Barneveld (12) 3-0 Robbie Green
Simon Whitlock (17) 3-0 Dragutin Horvat

Preliminary Round - Best of three sets
First Round - Best of five sets

LIVE STATS 
Follow live stats & see match stats throughout the event via the official PDC Live Scores website - CLICK HERE 

MATCH UPDATES 

Boris Koltsov 1-2 Dragutin Horvat (P) 
1-0 (3-1)
Koltsov landed tops for an immediate break and he doubled his lead with a 97 finish.  Horvat hit a 180 and landed double 18 but Koltsov took out 84 to take the set. 

1-1 (1-3)
Koltsov won the first leg on double 12 but Horvat won the next three to level the match, adding a second 180 in the process.

1-2 (2-3)
Koltsov took a two-leg lead but Horvat hit back, taking out 20 and then a crucial 101 finish with his opponent waiting on a double. The German qualifier then cleaned up 59 to move into the first round.


Brendan Dolan (23) 3-1 Christian Kist 
1-0 (3-0)
Dolan landed double ten to break straight away and he doubled his lead by bedding double 16. Kist missed double 12 for a 141 finish and Dolan took out 70 to win the set.

1-1 (0-3)
Kist hit a 180 and landed tops and defied a maximum by Dolan in the following leg by finishing 72. He then produced a brilliant 105 finish to level the match. 

2-1 (3-0) 
Dolan hit a 180 in the first leg and pinned double 16. He then took out 78 and 102 to seal another set in three legs. 

3-1 (3-1)
The first two legs were shared before Dolan took out 54 and 61 to seal victory.


Raymond van Barneveld (12) 3-0 Robbie Green 
1-0 (3-1)
Both players took out 86 in the first two legs before Van Barneveld produced a trademark 156 checkout. He then finished 64 to take the first set in four legs, with neither player missing a dart at a double.

2-0 (3-1)
Van Barneveld continue his impressive finishing with a 120 checkout and he doubled his lead on double ten. Green pegged double 18 but the Dutch ace increased his advantage as he sealed the second set by cleaning up 80.

3-0 (3-0)
Van Barneveld hit double eight either side of an 81 finish to seal his place in the last 32.


Simon Whitlock (17) 3-0 Dragutin Horvat 
1-0 (3-0) 
Whitlock landed double 16 and double five to win the first two legs before Horvat fired in the match's first maximum and missed a dart at the bull for a 161 finish. Whitlock returned to peg double ten for the set after his opponent had missed two further attempts at double.

2-0 (3-1)
Whitlock took out 91 on the bull to break and then pinned double top. Horvat got a leg on tops but the Australian found the same target to move within a set of victory.

3-0 (3-0)
Whitlock hit a 180 and produced brilliant finishes of 92, 170 and 158 to seal a first round win for the first time in three years.