RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD opened his final ranking event in the Netherlands with a 6-2 win over Pal Szekely on Friday as the Dutch Darts Masters began in Zwolle.
Five-time World Champion Van Barneveld will retire at the end of 2019, and came through the qualifiers to secure his spot in the £140,000 European Tour event in his homeland.
The Dutchman came from a leg down to lead 5-1 against Hungarian thrower Szekely, finishing 156 and 126 in the process, before seven missed match darts allowed his rival to step in.
However, Van Barneveld set up a second round date with Michael Smith on Saturday by sealing victory in style, with a 149 combination giving him a third ton-plus checkout of the contest.
Fellow Dutchman Vincent van der Voort delighted the Ijsselhallen crowd with a 6-2 win over Andy Boulton, moving the former Austrian Darts Open winner through to face Mensur Suljovic.
A terrific performance from Dutchman Danny Noppert saw him produce a 104.56 average in a 6-1 defeat of last Sunday's Players Championship 16 winner Harry Ward, who also averaged 103.32 in another high-class encounter.
Danny van Trijp became the first Dutch winner of the weekend with a hard-fought 6-5 triumph over Keegan Brown, with the 22-year-old releasing an outpouring of emotion after coming through a last-leg decider to secure the biggest win of his career.
Last weekend's Players Championship 15 winner Glen Durrant enjoyed a first round win for the third time on the European Tour in 2019 with a comfortable 6-1 win over Alexander Merkx.
Following James Wade's withdrawal from the event, Lakeside Champion Durrant now receives a Bye to the Last 16.
Max Hopp defied a 100 average and a superb fightback from Nathan Aspinall before claiming a 6-5 win over the UK Open champion with a 14-darter in the deciding leg of their tie.
Aspinall led 2-0 before Hopp reeled off five straight legs, and the German ace held his nerve following the English ace's comeback to move through to the last 32.
A stunning display from Rowby-John Rodriguez saw the Austrian post a 108.79 average in his 6-2 win over Mike De Decker, who also averaged 104.72 in a high-quality affair.
Newly-crowned five-time Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen will face William O'Connor in his homecoming on Saturday, as the World Champion aims to claim a sixth successive Dutch Darts Masters win.
O'Connor - a Players Championship winner earlier this year - picked up a 6-2 success over World Championship quarter-finalist Ryan Joyce in the opening game of the tournament.
Mickey Mansell took the last three legs in his clash with Kyle Anderson to secure a 6-4 win, and the Northern Irishman will now face European Darts Grand Prix Champion Ian White.
Wesley Plaisier was the first Dutch Qualifier to take to the stage in Zwolle, but he succumbed to a 6-1 loss at the hands of Brendan Dolan as the Northern Irish ace progressed to play Stephen Bunting.
European Tour debutant Florian Hempel produced an impressive display in a 6-0 whitewash of Ryan Harrington, with the German former handball player landing checkouts of 156 and 101 in his first PDC stage appearance.
Steve Beaton continued his consistent form in 2019 with a 6-4 success over Alan Norris, who landed a magnificent 170 checkout only to lose out narrowly.
Sweden's Dennis Nilsson picked up his first European Tour victory since September 2017 with a 6-0 whitewash of Dutch Qualifier Erik Hol, and he now plays former Austrian Darts Open winner Jonny Clayton.
Mervyn King took out key finishes of 130 and 121 in successive legs as he pulled clear from 3-2 against Luke Woodhouse to win 6-2 and set up a second round tie with Daryl Gurney.
Krzysztof Ratajski finished six doubles from ten attempts, landed five 180s and two 11-dart legs in a clinical 6-3 win over Ross Smith to set up a tasty tie with Gerwyn Price.
Ritchie Edhouse set up a second round meeting with Peter Wright by defeating Dutchman Jimmy Hendriks 6-2, completing the win with a match-high 102 checkout.
Saturday sees the 16 seeded players enter the action in Zwolle with the second round of the Dutch Darts Masters, with the action being streamed for PDCTV-HD Subscribers, and at a series of bookmakers' websites worldwide as listed below.
For tickets, visit www.pdc-europe.tv/tickets.
2019 Dutch Darts Masters
Friday May 24
William O'Connor 6-2 Ryan Joyce
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Wesley Plaisier
Florian Hempel 6-0 Ryan Harrington
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-2 Mike De Decker
Danny van Trijp 6-5 Keegan Brown
Glen Durrant 6-1 Alexander Merkx
Danny Noppert 6-1 Harry Ward
Steve Beaton 6-4 Alan Norris
Dennis Nilsson 6-0 Erik Hol
Mervyn King 6-2 Luke Woodhouse
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Ross Smith
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Andy Boulton
Max Hopp 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Pal Szekely
Ritchie Edhouse 6-2 Jimmy Hendriks
Saturday May 25
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Stephen Bunting v Brendan Dolan
Simon Whitlock v Florian Hempel
Jermaine Wattimena v Danny Noppert
Ricky Evans v Danny van Trijp
Jonny Clayton v Dennis Nilsson
Gerwyn Price v Krzysztof Ratajski
Darren Webster v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Dave Chisnall v Steve Beaton
Ian White v Mickey Mansell
Joe Cullen v Max Hopp
Michael van Gerwen v William O'Connor
Daryl Gurney v Mervyn King
Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright v Ritchie Edhouse
Mensur Suljovic v Vincent van der Voort
(Glen Durrant receives a Bye into the Third Round due to James Wade's withdrawal)
PDC European Tour events can be watched online through PDCTV-HD for all subscribers worldwide.
Live coverage with faster streams may also be available at the following bookmakers' websites:
bet365 - www.bet365.com - Worldwide
Bet90 - www.bet90.com - Brazil, Germany
Betfair - www.betfair.com - Brazil, Denmark, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Wales
Betfred - www.betfred.com - England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
bwin - www.bwin.com - Worldwide
FDJ - www.fdj-gaming-solutions.com - France
Fonbet - www.fonbet.com - Armenia, Belarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Russian federation, Ukraine
Fortuna - www.fortunagroup.eu - Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia
Legolasbet - www.legolas.bet - Sweden
Ligastavok - www.ligastavok.ru/ - Russia
Marathonbet - www.betmarathon.com - Belarus, Russian Federation, Spain, Ukraine
Nike - www.nike.sk - Slovakia
Olimp - www.betolimp.com - Kazakhstan, Russian federation
Paddy Power - www.paddypower.com/ - England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
Stoiximan - www.stoiximan.gr - Cyprus, Greece, Romania
Supabets - www.supabets.com.gh - Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa
Superbet - www.superbet.ro/ - Romania, Poland
Tempobet - www.tempobet.org - Europe
Totogaming - www.totogaming.am/en/ - Armenia
Tipsport - www.tipsport.cz - Czech Republic & Slovakia
Unibet - www.unibet.com - Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, United Kingdom
William Hill - www.williamhill.com - Great Britain, Ireland, Spain
Winlinebet - www.winlinebet.ru - Russia
World Sports Betting - www.worldsportsbetting.co.za - Namibia, South Africa