THE second Emperors Palace South African Masters takes place on Sunday, pitting four of the world’s top players against the best in South Africa.

Phil Taylor, who won last year’s South African Masters, is joined by World Champion John Part, world number three James Wade and Wayne “Hawaii 501″ Mardle in travelling to Johannesburg for the tournament.

They will face the semi-finalists of Saturday’s PDC South African Open, which is held at the Emperors Palace Casino and gives the winner a place in the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

The South African Masters sees the South African players drawn against a PDC star in the best-of-seven-leg quarter-finals, giving them the chance to challenge the biggest names in the game.

The winners will then proceed to the best-of-11 semi-finals and the best-of-15 final to compete for the South African Masters title.

“Last year was a really enjoyable experience and I’m looking forward to this year’s tournament,” said Taylor.

“These events are great opportunities for South African players and the standard over there is increasing all the time.

“The tournament will be great fun and very competitive, and I’ll be going all out to retain my title!”

Mardle added: “I’ve never been to South Africa before and I can’t wait to play out there.

“It’s still an emerging country in darts terms but they have some great players coming through and it would be massive for them to defeat any of us supposedly bigger names.”

Former South African Open winners Wynand Havenga and Charles Losper will be among over 150 players from across South Africa to travel to Johannesburg for Saturday’s event in the hope of winning a place in the World Championship and a spot in Sunday’s tournament.

Live coverage of the Emperors Palace South African Masters is on Nuts TV in the UK from 8pm on Sunday night – Sky channel 196 and freeview channel 42. Coverage in South Africa is live on SuperSport from 9pm-12am local time.

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