Cullen To Open Defence Against Dobey

Joe Cullen will begin his defence of the Cazoo Masters title against Chris Dobey, with the draw and schedule of play for this month’s event now confirmed.

The 2023 Cazoo Masters, which will take place in Milton Keynes from January 27-29, will see 24 players in action at the Marshall Arena, with the first round featuring players ranked 9-24 on the PDC Order of Merit.

Friday’s opening night will see all eight first round ties take place, as reigning champion Cullen takes on World Championship quarter-finalist Dobey in an intriguing first round tussle.

Nathan Aspinall – a two-time televised finalist in 2022 – faces a resurgent Stephen Bunting, while 2014 Masters champion James Wade plays debutant Callan Rydz.

World Championship semi-finalist Dimitri Van den Bergh meets two-time World Champion Gary Anderson in another high-profile contest, with Dirk van Duijvenbode and Krzysztof Ratjaski also set to collide.

Last year’s semi-finalist Jose De Sousa takes on German trailblazer Gabriel Clemens, who enjoyed a history-making run to the Cazoo World Darts Championship semi-finals earlier this month.

Elsewhere, Ryan Searle and 2022 runner-up Dave Chisnall will open this year’s tournament, while World Cup winner Damon Heta takes on European Champion Ross Smith in a tasty first round tie.

The second round is split across two sessions on Saturday January 28, with UK Open champion Danny Noppert kicking off the afternoon’s action against either Aspinall or Bunting.

Former World Champion Rob Cross will play Van den Bergh or Anderson for a place in the last eight, before 2021 winner Jonny Clayton opens his campaign against Wade or Rydz.

Fifth seed Luke Humphries will play reigning champion Cullen or Dobey in his last 16 clash, before the world’s top four enter the fray in a blockbuster evening session.

World Champion Michael Smith headlines the action against Heta or Ross Smith, with five-time Masters winner Michael van Gerwen up against De Sousa or Clemens in his opener.

Fourth seed Gerwyn Price will kick off the evening’s proceedings against Van Duijvenbode or Ratajski, while 2020 champion Peter Wright faces the winner of Searle or Chisnall for a quarter-final spot.

Following Saturday’s second round action, the tournament will conclude on Sunday January 29, with the quarter-finals in the afternoon session, followed by the semi-finals and final in a bumper evening session.

The 2023 Cazoo Masters will be broadcast live on ITV4 in the UK, through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria & Switzerland based subscribers).

2023 Cazoo Masters
Draw Bracket
(1) Michael Smith v (16) Damon Heta/(17) Ross Smith
(8) Danny Noppert v (9) Nathan Aspinall/(24) Stephen Bunting
(4) Gerwyn Price v (13) Dirk van Duijvenbode/(20) Krzysztof Ratajski
(5) Luke Humphries v (12) Joe Cullen/(21) Chris Dobey
(2) Peter Wright v (15) Ryan Searle/(18) Dave Chisnall
(7) Jonny Clayton v (10) James Wade/(23) Callan Rydz
(3) Michael van Gerwen v (14) Jose de Sousa/(19) Gabriel Clemens
(6) Rob Cross v (11) Dimitri Van den Bergh/(22) Gary Anderson

First Round
(9) Nathan Aspinall v (24) Stephen Bunting
(10) James Wade v (23) Callan Rydz
(11) Dimitri Van den Bergh v (22) Gary Anderson
(12) Joe Cullen v (21) Chris Dobey
(13) Dirk van Duijvenbode v (20) Krzysztof Ratajski
(14) Jose de Sousa v (19) Gabriel Clemens
(15) Ryan Searle v (18) Dave Chisnall
(16) Damon Heta v (17) Ross Smith

Friday January 20 (1900 local time, 1800 GMT)

First Round

Luke Humphries v Marko Kantele

Jonny Clayton v Daniel Larsson

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Madars Razma

Gerwyn Price v Benjamin Drue Reus

Peter Wright v Dennis Nilsson

Michael Smith v Darius Labanauskas

Rob Cross v Vladimir Andersen

Michael van Gerwen v Andreas Harrysson

Saturday January 28
Afternoon Session (1245 GMT)
Danny Noppert v Nathan Aspinall/Stephen Bunting
Rob Cross v Dimitri Van den Bergh/Gary Anderson
Jonny Clayton v James Wade/Callan Rydz
Luke Humphries v Joe Cullen/Chris Dobey

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Second Round x4
Gerwyn Price v Dirk van Duijvenbode/Krzysztof Ratajski
Peter Wright v Ryan Searle/Dave Chisnall
Michael Smith v Damon Heta/Ross Smith
Michael van Gerwen v Jose de Sousa/Gabriel Clemens

Sunday January 29
Afternoon Session (1245 GMT)
Quarter-Finals

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Semi-Finals & Final

Format
First Round – Best of 11 legs
Second Round – Best of 19 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 21 legs
Final – Best of 21 legs

—–ENDS—–

Images: PDC

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