The opening two days of the 2022/23 PDC World Darts Championship are done. Now, it’s time to move into the first weekend of the tournament.
Another double session of action is on the way, with different than normal start times owing to the World Cup in Qatar. The afternoon session starts at 11.00 GMT, while the evening session begins at 20.00 GMT.
On today’s schedule, we’ll see:
- a four time World Champion
- a former World Champion and runner-up
- a World Matchplay champion
- one of the brightest young stars in the game
Here’s what’s coming your way on day three of the 2022/23 World Darts Championship.
Gurney gets underway this afternoon
Daryl Gurney is the seed in action in the first session of the day. He takes on Alan Soutar, who defeated Mal Cumming 3-0 yesterday.
It’s been a quiet year for Superchin, who’s yet to go beyond the last 16 of any TV event. He reached the quarter finals here at the Worlds in 2021, losing in a last leg decider to eventual champion Gerwyn Price.
Can the Northern Irishman get back to the form that saw him win the 2017 World Grand Prix and 2018 Players Championship Finals? Or will Soutar take out a seed again and move into the last 32 for the second straight year?
In the round one games, 2010 runner up Simon Whitlock gets his tournament underway. The Wizard was part of the Australia team to win the World Cup of Darts with Damon Heta in June, but not been past the quarter final stage on any events on the Pro Tour or Euro Tour this year. He takes on Asian Champion Christian Perez, to get his first match at Alexandra Palace since 2015. Who will face Jose de Sousa on Monday afternoon?
The 1995 BDO World Champion Ritchie Burnett is also in action this afternoon. He qualified through the final Pro Tour qualifier, and takes on former World Youth Championship finalist Adam Gawlas. Both have struggled on the Pro Tour this year, but Gawlas has made a European Tour quarter final. Gawlas also needs a win to secure his Tour Card for next year, but can Burnett roll back the years? Ryan Searle awaits the victor on Thursday afternoon.
Martin Lukeman will open the day at Alexandra Palace. Lukeman has had an excellent season, making the quarter finals of the World Grand Prix, and a European Tour final. He plays Nobuhiro Yamomoto, who the won PDC Japan Championship to earn his spot. Both are making their debuts at this event, so who will hold their nerve? The winner faces Martin Schindler on Friday evening.
Star studded session for Saturday night
There are some big names taking to the stage in tonight’s session.
In the opening game, four time Women’s World Champion Lisa Ashton returns to the Alexandra Palace stage. Ashton finished top of the Women’s Series Order of Merit this year, and made the semi finals of the Women’s World Matchplay. She takes on Ryan Meikle, who’s made a Euro Tour quarter final and Pro Tour semi final. The Lancashire Rose has never won a game on the Alexandra Palace stage, while The Barber won at this stage last year before losing to eventual champion Peter Wright in round two. Who will book their place against Raymond van Barneveld on Tuesday night?
Young superstars also could light up the night session. Josh Rock has had an incredible year. He’s won the World Youth Championship, a Pro Tour, and multiple Development Tour titles. He’s played in some sensational games as well on TV, notably against Michael van Gerwen in the Grand Slam where he hit his first televised nine dart finish. Will he win his first game ever at the Worlds? To do so, he must beat Jose Justicia, who won the South-West Europe qualifier to make the field for the first time in four years. The Spaniard has also previously won a game here, so will not make it easy. Callan Rydz plays the winner Sunday afternoon.
Former World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh is the seed playing tonight. The former World Youth champion announced himself to the darting world here in 2018, pushing eventual champion Rob Cross all the way in an epic quarter final. The Dream Maker won back to back World Series titles this year, but has only made one ranked final on the Euro Tour. His best TV performance in 2022 was a semi final at the World Matchplay. After dropping to world number 15, can the Belgian move back up the rankings after losing at this stage last year? He plays Lourence Ilagan in his round two game, after the Filipino beat Rowby-John Rodriguez in a last leg decider yesterday.
The second match on sees Cameron Menzies take on Diogo Portela. After winning his Tour Card this year, Menzies has been extremely consistent in events, winning more than enough money to qualify for his debut World Championship via the Pro Tour Order of Merit. Portela once again won the Central/South America qualifier, and has won games on this stage before, notably when he broke down in tears after beating Steve Beaton at the 2021 event. Can he make the second round for the first time in two years, or will Menzies win on debut? The winner plays Vincent van der Voort next Thursday evening.
PDC World Darts Championship Day Three Schedule of Play
Saturday 17 December
Afternoon Session (1100 GMT)
3x Round One, 1x Round Two
Martin Lukeman v Nobuhiro Yamamoto (R1)
Simon Whitlock v Christian Perez (R1)
Adam Gawlas v Richie Burnett (R1)
Daryl Gurney v Alan Soutar (R2)
Evening Session (2000 GMT)
3x Round One, 1x Round Two
Ryan Meikle v Lisa Ashton (R1)
Cameron Menzies v Diogo Portela (R1)
Josh Rock v Jose Justicia (R1)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Lourence Ilagan (R2)