ROBERT THORNTON will make his return to European Tour action against Stephen Bunting in the first round of the 2019 Czech Darts Open, as the inaugural tournament in Prague begins on Friday.

The ninth European Tour event of 2019 will see 48 players battling it out at the PVA Expo for £140,000 in prize money from June 28-30, with the action streamed through video.pdc.tv and bookmakers' websites worldwide.

Friday's first round will see 32 qualifiers competing across two sessions, before the 16 seeded players enter the action in Saturday's round two.

The clash between former European Tour event winner Thornton and world number 18 Bunting will headline Friday's opening day of action, as the Scot makes his second European Tour appearance of the year.

Thornton is one of 11 players starring in this weekend's event who have a chance to reach the Betfred World Matchplay through the ProTour Order of Merit.

The Czech event will be the final ranking tournament before the qualification cut-off for Blackpool, with the 32-player field for the prestigious event to be confirmed on Sunday.

Thornton is one of seven players who would have to take the £25,000 top prize in Prague if they were to sensationally break into a qualifying place.

Keegan Brown will face Host Nation Qualifier Ondrej Plsek in round one, where a win would be enough to move the former World Youth Champion above Kyle Anderson and into a qualification spot, although that position may come under threat depending on other results.

World Cup finalist William O'Connor must reach the quarter-finals if he is to snatch a World Matchplay place, and he faces Host Nation Qualifier Vaclav Shieferdecker in the opening round.

Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp and Steve West both need runs to the semi-finals, and they will play Host Nation Qualifier Jan Hlavacek and Mervyn King respectively.

Along with Thornton, Jamie Hughes, Ted Evetts, Brendan Dolan, Justin Pipe, Rowby-John Rodriguez and Madars Razma must win the Czech Darts Open if they are to make it to the Winter Gardens.

Round One will also see Australia's Corey Cadby make his European Tour debut against Dutch youngster Wessel Nijman, while 2019 Players Championship event winners Krzysztof Ratajski and Glen Durrant will take on Ted Evetts and Daniel Larsson respectively.

Danish Darts Open finalist Chris Dobey will face Poland's Sebastian Steyer, who won through Thursday's East European Qualifier, while Czech World Cup ace Karel Sedlacek meets Brendan Dolan after he completed the Host Nation Qualifiers.

East European Qualifier
Full results & stats
Semi-Finals

Sebastian Steyer 6-5 Boris Koltsov
Gabor Takacs 6-3 Sandor Ballo

Final
Sebastian Steyer 6-1 Gabor Takacs

Host Nation Qualifier
Full results & stats
Semi-Final Matches

Vlastimil Jasek 6-1 Miroslav Navratil
Jan Hlavacek 6-4 Martin Hoffmann
Alexander Masek 6-1 Frantisek Humpula
Vaclav Shieferdecker 6-3 Cestmir Krepelka
Tomas Stribrny 6-2 David Pisek
Ondrej Plsek 6-1 Michal Ulrich
Ondrej Kysilka 6-1 Michal Kocik
Karel Sedlacek 6-1 Michal Ondo

Final Matches
Jan Hlavacek 6-2 Vlastimil Jasek
Vaclav Shieferdecker 6-5 Alexander Masek
Ondrej Plsek 6-5 Tomas Stribrny
Karel Sedlacek 6-2 Ondrej Kysilka

2019 Czech Darts Open
Tournament Draw Bracket - Second Round Onwards

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Ondrej Plsek/Keegan Brown
Darren Webster (16) v Danny Noppert/Stefan Bellmont
Mensur Suljovic (8) v William Borland/John Henderson
Ricky Evans (9) v Krzysztof Ratajski/Ted Evetts
Peter Wright (5) v Stephen Bunting/Robert Thornton
Joe Cullen (12) v Chris Dobey/Sebastian Steyer
Daryl Gurney (4) v Vaclav Shieferdecker/William O'Connor
Jonny Clayton (13) v Jermaine Wattimena/Kevin Garcia
Ian White (2) v Karel Sedlacek/Brendan Dolan
Nathan Aspinall (15) v Andrew Gilding/Rowby-John Rodriguez
Adrian Lewis (7) v Jamie Hughes/Devon Petersen
Steve Beaton (10) v Ron Meulenkamp/Jan Hlavacek
James Wade (6) v Mervyn King/Steve West
Michael Smith (11) v Wessel Nijman/Corey Cadby
Gerwyn Price (3) v Glen Durrant/Daniel Larsson
Simon Whitlock (14) v Madars Razma/Justin Pipe

Schedule of Play
Friday June 28
First Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Danny Noppert v Stefan Bellmont
Madars Razma v Justin Pipe
Jermaine Wattimena v Kevin Garcia
Karel Sedlacek v Brendan Dolan
Wessel Nijman v Corey Cadby
William Borland v John Henderson
Ondrej Plsek v Keegan Brown
Andrew Gilding v Rowby-John Rodriguez

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Glen Durrant v Daniel Larsson
Mervyn King v Steve West
Vaclav Shieferdecker v William O'Connor
Krzysztof Ratajski v Ted Evetts
Chris Dobey v Sebastian Steyer
Ron Meulenkamp v Jan Hlavacek
Stephen Bunting v Robert Thornton
Jamie Hughes v Devon Petersen

Saturday June 29
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Jonny Clayton (13) v Jermaine Wattimena/Kevin Garcia
Darren Webster (16) v Danny Noppert/Stefan Bellmont
Simon Whitlock (14) v Madars Razma/Justin Pipe
Nathan Aspinall (15) v Andrew Gilding/Rowby-John Rodriguez
Daryl Gurney (4) v Vaclav Shieferdecker/William O'Connor
Ian White (2) v Karel Sedlacek/Brendan Dolan
Steve Beaton (10) v Ron Meulenkamp/Jan Hlavacek
James Wade (6) v Mervyn King/Steve West

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Ricky Evans (9) v Krzysztof Ratajski/Ted Evetts
Joe Cullen (12) v Chris Dobey/Sebastian Steyer
Peter Wright (5) v Stephen Bunting/Robert Thornton
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Ondrej Plsek/Keegan Brown
Mensur Suljovic (8) v William Borland/John Henderson
Gerwyn Price (3) v Glen Durrant/Daniel Larsson
Adrian Lewis (7) v Jamie Hughes/Devon Petersen
Michael Smith (11) v Wessel Nijman/Corey Cadby

Sunday June 30
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Third Round

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Quarter-Finals
Semi-Finals
Final

Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order

Format
All games up to and including the quarter-finals are the best of 11 legs, with the semi-finals the best of 13 legs and the final the best of 15 legs.

Prize Fund
Winner: £25,000
Runner-up: £10,000
Semi-Finalists: £6,500
Quarter-Finalists: £5,000
Last 16: £3,000
Last 32: £2,000
Last 48: £1,000
Total: £140,000 

Watch Online

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