World Matchplay Darts: Phil Taylor draws John Henderson

Credit: Lawrence Lustig
Typography
PHIL TAYLOR will play John Henderson as he begins his bid to win an amazing eighth successive BetVictor World Matchplay title in Blackpool, with the tournament draw also pitting World Champion Gary Anderson against Steve Beaton.
Taylor has enjoyed a remarkable run of success since the World Matchplay's introduction in 1994, with his 15 triumphs at Blackpool's Winter Gardens including seven straight wins since 2008.

The 54-year-old Stoke legend will open his challenge to take his tally in Blackpool to 16 - which would match his total of World Championship triumphs - when he faces Scotsman Henderson in the first round of the £450,000 tournament.

The only other previous World Matchplay champion in the 32-player field for the 2015 event, world number six James Wade, will play Blackpool debutant Kyle Anderson in his first round tie at the Winter Gardens.

Gary Anderson, the World Champion, Premier League champion and Players Championship Finals winner, opens his challenge to claim a fourth major televised title inside 12 months against former World Champion Beaton.

World number one Michael van Gerwen, last year's beaten finalist in Blackpool who has already won The Masters and the UK Open in 2015, takes on fellow Dutchman Benito van de Pas in his first round game.

Number four seed Adrian Lewis, the 2013 runner-up, will play Joe Murnan, while UK Open and Japan Darts Masters finalist Peter Wright opens up against Kim Huybrechts in a mouth-watering first round clash .

World Youth Champion Keegan Brown will make his Winter Gardens debut against Robert Thornton, whilst Simon Whitlock takes on Jelle Klaasen and Raymond van Barneveld matches up with former World Championship runner-up Andy Hamilton in round one.

* Tickets for the BetVictor World Matchplay are still available for some sessions and can be purchased in person at the Winter Gardens Box Office, by calling 0844 856 1111 or via www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk.

BetVictor World Matchplay - First Round Draw & Draw Bracket

Michael van Gerwen (1/12) v Benito van de Pas (7/1)
Justin Pipe (1/2) v Jamie Lewis (13/8)
Simon Whitlock (4/5) v Jelle Klaasen (Evs)
Ian White (5/4) v Stephen Bunting (8/13)
Peter Wright (4/7) v Kim Huybrechts (11/8)
Mervyn King (4/6) v Andrew Gilding (6/5)
Adrian Lewis (1/12) v Joe Murnan (7/1)
Michael Smith (2/7) v Gerwyn Price (11/4)
Phil Taylor (1/20) v John Henderson (9/1)
Raymond van Barneveld (1/5) v Andy Hamilton (7/2)
Dave Chisnall (2/7) v Jamie Caven (11/4)
Robert Thornton (8/11) v Keegan Brown (11/10)
James Wade (1/4) v Kyle Anderson (3/1)
Brendan Dolan (10/11) v Vincent van der Voort (10/11)
Gary Anderson (1/8) v Steve Beaton (5/1)
Terry Jenkins (4/11) v Mensur Suljovic (11/5)
* Odds provided by BetVictor.

Format

First Round - Best of 19 legs
Second Round - Best of 25 legs
Quarter-Finals - Best of 31 legs
Semi-Finals - Best of 33 legs
Final - Best of 35 legs

* Each game must be won by two clear legs, with up to a maximum of five additional legs being played before the sixth "extra" leg is sudden-death. There will be no re-throw for the bull in this instance. For example, should a First Round game (best of 19 legs) reach 12-12, then the 25th leg would be the final and deciding leg.

Prize Fund

Winner - £100,000
Runner-Up - £50,000
Semi-Finalists - £27,000
Quarter-Finalists - £17,500
Second Round Losers - £10,000
First Round Losers - £6,000
Total - £450,000