Bernie Smith, Kayden Milne and Mal Cuming sealed their spots in August’s TAB New Zealand Darts Masters after coming through last weekend’s qualifiers Down Under.
The NZ Darts Masters will take place at the Globox Arena in Hamilton from August 26-27, as the sport’s biggest stars compete in the World Series of Darts treble-header, which also includes visits to Townsville and Wollongong earlier in the month.
Former World Championship qualifier Smith sealed his spot in Hamilton with a dramatic 7-6 victory over New Zealand’s number one Ben Robb in Christchurch on Saturday.
“I am looking forward to playing in front of the big crowd in Hamilton. It is great to have won over the weekend against such a tough field,” said Smith, who made his Alexandra Palace bow in December 2017.
The second qualifier saw young star Kayden Milne defeat former World Cup of Darts quarter-finalist Haupai Puha 7-4 to confirm his televised debut.
“I am over the moon. It was a great day of darts and for me to win is a dream come true. I can’t wait to experience the big stage,” Milne added.
Elsewhere, Mal Cuming came through Saturday’s DPA qualifier in New South Wales, defeating three-time World Championship participant David Platt 7-5 in the final.
“I played solid all day against a class field and I am delighted with the result. I am looking forward to going to New Zealand and mixing it up with the Kiwi boys,” reflected the 46-year-old.
Smith, Milne, and Cuming will join Australia’s World Cup of Darts winners Damon Heta and Simon Whitlock in Hamilton, with PDC Tour Card holder Gordon Mathers also set to feature as one of the eight regional representatives.
New Zealand’s World Cup of Darts pairing Robb and Warren Parry are in pole position to claim the final two spots, as they lead the DPNZ Order of Merit with two ProTour events remaining on August 6-7.
World Champion Peter Wright headlines the eight-player PDC line-up, which also includes world number two Gerwyn Price and three-time World Champion Michael van Gerwen.
The Premier League quartet of Michael Smith, James Wade, Jonny Clayton and Joe Cullen will also make the trip Down Under, alongside history-maker Fallon Sherrock.
New Zealand Darts Masters
August 26-27, Globox Arena, Hamilton
PDC Representatives: Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith, James Wade, Jonny Clayton, Joe Cullen, Fallon Sherrock.
Oceanic Representatives: Damon Heta, Simon Whitlock, Gordon Mathers, Bernie Smith, Kayden Milne, Mal Cuming, x2 DPNZ Qualifiers.