Kyle Anderson and Rhys Mathewson delighted the Sydney crowd with victories over Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade respectively, whilst Phil Taylor began the defence of his title with a hard-fought win against Corey Cadby at The Star on Thursday evening.
Kyle Anderson was in sensational form as he reeled off six consecutive legs to defeat five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld 6-1. Van Barneveld hit a maximum and converted a 71 checkout to open his account, but ‘The Original’ responded superbly, averaging just shy of 100 to set up a quarter-final clash with Michael van Gerwen.
Van Gerwen produced the performance of the day as he eased past New Zealand number one Cody Harris, with a 107.89 average. The Dutchman made a blistering start and was averaging 126 after three legs, but Harris reduced the arrears to 3-2. However, MvG was not to be denied, taking out finishes of 84, 72 and 71 to secure an emphatic 6-2 victory.
Rhys Mathewson caused the shock of the tournament, as he fought back from 5-2 down to dump out eight-time major winner James Wade.
Wade looked to be heading for a comprehensive victory, but the 28-year-old from Melbourne capitalised on ‘The Machine’s missed match darts to force a last-leg shootout. In the deciding leg, Mathewson registered his fifth maximum and pinned tops, to seal a brilliant comeback victory on his TV debut.