Littler, Van Gerwen learn US Darts Masters opponents

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Littler, Van Gerwen learn US Darts Masters opponents

Michael van Gerwen will begin his defence of the bet365 US Darts Masters against American star Danny Lauby on Friday, while Luke Littler faces a familiar opponent in his first appearance at the tournament in New York.

Following events in Bahrain and Den Bosch in January, the World Series resumes on May 31 and June 1 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden, with 16 players battling it out.

Friday’s first round will see eight PDC stars take on eight North American representatives for a place in Saturday’s final stages, with reigning champion Van Gerwen and Premier League champion Littler among them.

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Watch Luke Littler’s nine-darter from all angles as ‘The Nuke’ hit perfection on Finals night of the 2024 Premier League.

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Top seed Van Gerwen, winner of the Dutch Darts Masters earlier this year, kicks off his campaign against two-time World Championship qualifier Lauby, who secured his PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School back in January.

Littler, who triumphed in Bahrain on the back of his stunning run to the PDC World Darts Championship final, will make his US Darts Masters debut against Canadian No 1 Matt Campbell, in a repeat of their third-round clash at the World Championship in December.

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Luke Littler won the Premier League in his debut campaign after defeating world number one Luke Humphries 11-7 in the final.

Michael Smith lifted the title during the PDC’s first visit to New York in 2022, and the St Helens star will open his challenge against reigning North American champion Jeff Smith, who also enjoyed a memorable run to the US Darts Masters final 12 months ago.

Nathan Aspinall, another former US Darts Masters champion, faces Grand Slam quarter-finalist Stowe Buntz, with two-time world champion Peter Wright pitted against CDC Cross Border Challenge winner Alex Spellman.

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Matthew Edgar and Laura Turner dish out their Premier League grades for each player on the Love The Darts podcast

World champion and world No 1 Luke Humphries takes on Canadian veteran David Cameron. Elsewhere, Gerwyn Price faces Dutch-born American Jules van Dongen, while Rob Cross will play debutant Adam Sevada in the opening match of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s afternoon session will feature the bet365 North American Championship, as the eight US and Canadian stars battle for that title and a potential place in the World Darts Championship and Grand Slam of Darts.

bet365 US Darts Masters draw

Friday, May 31

First Round: Rob Cross vs Adam Sevada, Nathan Aspinall vs Stowe Buntz, Peter Wright v Alex Spellman, Gerwyn Price v Jules van Dongen, Michael van Gerwen vs Danny Lauby, Luke Humphries vs David Cameron, Luke Littler vs Matt Campbell, Michael Smith vs Jeff Smith.

Best of 11 legs

Saturday, June 1

Quarter-finals

Best of 11 legs

Semi-finals

Best of 13 legs

Final

Best of 15 legs

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