World number one Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his Shanghai Darts Masters title against Chinese qualifier Hai Long Chen when the PDC World Series of Darts event begins on Thursday.
‘The Green Machine’ defeated James Wade in the final of last year’s inaugural staging at the Pullman Hotel, Shanghai South, and he begins this year’s campaign against Hai Long Chen, who was one of four players to win through Wednesday’s qualifier.
Van Gerwen could face a quarter-final showdown against his old rival Phil Taylor, who is seeded seventh for this year’s tournament. ‘The Power’ will begin potentially his last Shanghai Darts Masters campaign against Korean qualifier Hyun Chul Park.
Top seed Gary Anderson will take on Wei Hong Li in his opening tie. The ‘Flying Scotsman’ is top seed in Shanghai following his magnificent victory against Michael van Gerwen in the Dubai Darts Masters back in May and he’ll be hoping to replicate that form on Chinese soil.
The world number two could potentially face Raymond van Barneveld in the last eight, if the five-time world champion can overcome Cheng An Liu- a former World Championship qualifier who faced John Part at the Circus Tavern in 2006.
UK Open champion Peter Wright will lock horns with the experienced Japanese ace Haruki Muramatsu, and Snakebite could take on last year’s finalist James Wade in round-two, if the eight-time major winner can overcome the challenge of World Youth Championship qualifier Xiao Chen Zong.
Gerwyn Price makes his Shanghai Darts Masters debut against Hong Kong star Royden Lam, whilst fifth seed Dave Chisnall faces a tricky opener against Singapore legend Paul Lim. The 63-year-old rolled back the years to lead his country to the World Cup of Darts quarter-finals last month and will relish the prospect of gracing the big stage once again.
Following the first round on Thursday, the tournament will then conclude with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final on Friday in Shanghai. Ahead of the event, the trio of Gary Anderson, James Wade and Dave Chisnall visited a local Darts Academy to further encourage the ongoing growth of the sport in China.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2017 Shanghai Darts Masters Draw Bracket
Gary Anderson (1) v Wei Hong Li
Raymond van Barneveld (8) v Cheng An Liu
Gerwyn Price (4) v Royden Lam
Dave Chisnall (5) v Paul Lim
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Hai Long Chen
Phil Taylor (7) v Hyun Chul Park
Peter Wright (3) v Haruki Muramatsu
James Wade (6) v Xiao Chen Zong
Schedule of Play
Thursday July 6 (6.30pm local time)
Gerwyn Price v Royden Lam
Raymond van Barneveld v Cheng An Liu
James Wade v Xiao Chen Zong
Phil Taylor v Hyun Chul Park
Dave Chisnall v Paul Lim
Peter Wright v Haruki Muramatsu
Michael van Gerwen v Hai Long Chen
Gary Anderson v Wei Hong Li
All games are the best of 11 legs