Michael van Gerwen will take on former Las Vegas Desert Classic participant Chris White in the opening round of the inaugural U.S Masters, whilst newly crowned North American Championship winner Willard Bruguier Jr will take on UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price, after the draw for this weekend’s event was made on Thursday evening.
World number one Michael van Gerwen will kick off his U.S Masters campaign against North American Championship semi-finalist Chris White, who competed in the Las Vegas Desert Classic back in 2009. Van Gerwen retained his Shanghai Darts Masters crown last week and will be vying for more World Series success at the Tropicana.
Two-time world champion Gary Anderson will take on Canadian qualifier Jayson Barlow, who posted a miserly 65 average in his first televised appearance on Thursday. Elsewhere, Anderson’s fellow Scot Peter Wright faces Shawn Brenneman, who was thrashed 6-1 by eventual North American Championship finalist Dave Richardson.
Richardson played superbly throughout the event, having defeated the likes of John Part, Jeff Smith and Larry Butler en route to qualifying. His reward is a tasty first-round tie against World Series debutant Max Hopp, with the former World-Youth champion aiming to set up a last-eight showdown against Van Gerwen.
Raymond van Barneveld faces a potentially tricky opener against Canada’s David Cameron. The five-time world champion produced a solid showing in Shanghai last week; reaching the semi-finals in his first tournament with Target. However, Cameron is an experienced campaigner, having appeared in the last two BDO World Championships.
Eight-time major winner James Wade has been handed a tough first-round assignment against Dawson Murschell, who has enjoyed real success on the Development Tour this year. Wade wasn’t scheduled to compete in Las Vegas, but was handed a wildcard after Phil Taylor withdrew from this event on medical advice.
UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price faces a showdown against North American Championship winner Willard Bruguier Jr, who produced a stunning performance to edge out Richardson 6-5 in the final; taking out finishes of 80, 89 and 93, to clinch the title with a 12-darter and confirm his qualification for this year’s World Championship.
In the last remaining first-round tussle, World Series debutant Daryl Gurney will play American ace Dennis Sayre, with the winner set to meet world number three Wright in round-two. The tournament then concludes on Saturday with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
2017 U.S Masters
July 14th-15th-30- Las Vegas
First Round Draw Bracket
(1) Michael van Gerwen v Chris White
Max Hopp v Dave Richardson
(4) James Wade v Dawson Murschell
Gerwyn Price v Willard Bruguier Jr
(2) Gary Anderson v Jayson Barlow
Raymond van Barneveld v David Cameron
(3) Peter Wright v Shawn Brenneman
Daryl Gurney v Dennis Sayre