High-profile darts players Raymond Van Barneveld and James Wade will compete in the PDC World Series of Darts event in Hamilton in August after being confirmed alongside four further qualifiers from Australia and New Zealand.
Five-time World Champion Van Barneveld, a former World Series finalist in both Australia and New Zealand, will be part of the Oceanic treble-header including Melbourne and Brisbane as he continues his final competitive year before retirement.
The Dutch legend, 52, will be joined by reigning European Champion Wade – the 2018 World Series of Darts Finals winner and a former Perth Darts Masters finalist – as the final two of eight PDC representatives for the tournaments.
Wade, 36, was recently a Premier League semi-finalist after finishing in fourth position in the final league table following a strong season in the event, and has now spent more than a decade at the sport’s top level.
The duo joins the previously-announced Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Daryl Gurney, Peter Wright and Simon Whitlock as the eight PDC representatives for the three World Series events, where they will take on eight Oceanic representatives in each first round.
The PDC NZ Darts Masters comes to Hamilton for the first time this year, and will be held at Claudelands.
Sean Murray, Hamilton City Council’s General Manager for Venues, Tourism and Major Events, says the addition of Van Barneveld and Wade enhances what will be an exciting event for the city.
“This is our first time hosting international darts and with the promoters adding two more world-class players to the line-up the fans buying tickets can be assured of some top-quality play,” Mr Murray says.
“The world’s best darts players bring character and flair to the events they compete in, and to have that sort of energy and fierce rivalry at Claudelands is going to be fantastic.”
Former Auckland Darts Masters winner Kyle Anderson and 2016 World Youth Champion Corey Cadby will also compete in all three events, while top Kiwi Cody Harris is set to take part in the NZ Darts Masters, presented by Burger King and TAB.
In addition, Australian duo Damon Heta and James Bailey have now secured places in the Brisbane Darts Masters and Melbourne Darts Masters as the top two players in the DartPlayers Australia standings.
Perth’s Heta is enjoying a superb year on the DPA ProTour, and has previously competed in four World Series of Darts events – reaching the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year – and the 2018 World Series of Darts Finals.
Brisbane’s Bailey, meanwhile, sits second in the DPA standings at present, having competed in the 2018 Melbourne Darts Masters and at the 2019 PDC World Championship.
Christchurch’s Haupai Puha, who reached the World Cup quarter-finals for New Zealand alongside Harris last weekend, and Wellington’s two-time World Cup representative Craig Caldwell will compete in the NZ Darts Masters as the top two players from the DPNZ rankings.
The DPNZ Qualifiers, offering two places in the NZ Darts Masters and one apiece in the Brisbane and Melbourne events, will be held on June 29-30 at the Hornby Working Men’s Club in Christchurch. For details, please visit dartplayers.co.nz.
2019 NZ Darts Masters, presented by Burger King & TAB
August 23-24, Claudelands Arena, Hamilton
PDC Representatives: Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Daryl Gurney, Peter Wright, James Wade, Simon Whitlock, Raymond van Barneveld
Oceanic Representatives: Kyle Anderson, Corey Cadby, Cody Harris, Haupai Puha (DPNZ Number One), Craig Caldwell (DPNZ Number Two), DPNZ Qualifiers x2 (June 29-30, Christchurch), DPA Qualifier (July 7, Warilla)