PHIL TAYLOR will begin his bid to win a 12th World Matchplay title against emerging star Mark Hylton at the Winter Gardens next month, while World Champion Adrian Lewis plays Kevin Painter in the first round of the £400,000 Blackpool event.

Taylor, the reigning and 11-time World Matchplay champion, opens the defence of his title against the qualifier from Rugeley, a former air steward who recently reached the last eight of the Speedy Hire UK Open.

Number two seed Adrian Lewis, the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Champion, drew Kevin Painter in the first round, while world number three and UK Open winner James Wade faces Derby’s Jamie Caven.

Gary Anderson, the Premier League Darts champion who also won back-to-back Players Championships in Holland this weekend, drew Andy Hamilton, while last year’s Blackpool runner-up Raymond van Barneveld meets Bristol’s Steve Brown.

Simon whitlock, the number five seed, will play colourful Peter Wright, while two-time finalist Terry Jenkins plays Steve Beaton and Fleetwood’s Wes Newton – the UK Open runner-up and number eight seed – meets Andy Smith.

Blackpool’s Ronnie Baxter drew UK Open semi-finalist Denis Ovens, while 2005 World Matchplay winner Colin Lloyd comes up against Scottish debutant John Henderson.

The three other World Matchplay debutants, Scott Rand, Justin Pipe and Dave Chisnall, drew experiences opposition in Wayne Jones, Mervyn King and Mark Walsh respectively.

Resurgent John Part, a two-time finalist who has won a brace of Players Championships this year to qualify for the World Matchplay – which is held from July 16-24 – takes on Welshman Mark Webster, who has moved up to tenth in the PDC Order of Merit, in another tasty first round tie.

The first round is split across four sessions from Saturday July 16-Tuesday July 19, with the tournament then progressing to the final on Sunday July 24, with the winner taking home £100,000.

Coverage will be live in the UK through Sky Sports, whose HD coverage will also be accompanied by 3D broadcasts, while telecasts will also be shown live in Holland, Germany and Australia.

Tickets for some sessions of the World Matchplay are still available in person from the Winter Gardens Box Office or via Ticketmaster on 0844 856 11 11.

2011 World Matchplay
First Round Draw Bracket

Phil Taylor (1, ENG) v Mark Hylton (ENG)
Wayne Jones (16, ENG) v Scott Rand (ENG)
Wes Newton (8, ENG) v Andy Smith (ENG)
Mervyn King (9, ENG) v Justin Pipe (ENG)
Simon Whitlock (5, AUS) v Peter Wright (ENG)
Ronnie Baxter (12, ENG) v Denis Ovens (ENG)
Gary Anderson (4, SCO) v Andy Hamilton (ENG)
Colin Lloyd (13, ENG) v John Henderson (SCO)
Adrian Lewis (2, ENG) v Kevin Painter (ENG)
Vincent van der Voort (15, NED) v Alan Tabern (ENG)
Terry Jenkins (7, ENG) v Steve Beaton (ENG)
Mark Webster (10, WAL) v John Part (CAN)
Raymond van Barneveld (6, NED) v Steve Brown (ENG)
Paul Nicholson (11, AUS) v Colin Osborne (ENG)
James Wade (3, ENG) v Jamie Caven (ENG)
Mark Walsh (14, ENG) v Dave Chisnall (ENG)

The schedule of play will be announced in due course, and the bracket order above is not necessarily the order of play.

Source – PDC/Lawrence Lustig

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