Kyle Anderson celebrated his World Grand Prix debut with a narrow 2-1 win over Cristo Reyes, claiming victory in the deciding leg of the final set as a 171 score set up tops.
Kyle Anderson v Cristo Reyes
0-1 - Reyes takes out 63 for and opening leg hold.
1-1 - 78 on tops for Anderson to level up.
1-2 - The pair miss chances to take the leg before Reyes moves in to hold throw.
1-3 - 92 on double eight as Reyes takes the first set.
1-0 - 68 on tops for Anderson.
2-0 - Double ten for Anderson to double his advantage.
2-1 - Double six for Reyes to put the pressure on Anderson.
2-2 - Reyes level here as he takes out 100 on tops. Anderson missed one for the set.
3-2 - Anderson takes the set on double nine with the last dart in hand.
0-1 - Reyes holds on double four.
1-1 - Level as Anderson pins double two.
2-1 - 85 on the bull for Anderson to break and move one leg away from the second round.
2-2 - Anderson misses five match darts allowing Reyes to break throw.
3-2 - 171 to leave tops for Anderson, who takes it out at the first attempt.
GARY ANDERSON set his sights on Unibet World Grand Prix glory with an impressive opening to this year's double-start event in Dublin, as reigning champion Robert Thornton and two-time winner James Wade crashed out at the Citywest Hotel.
World Champion Anderson was at his composed best as he averaged almost 97 in a fine performance to sweep past Jamie Caven in straight sets, dropping only one leg in the process.
The Scot opened with seven doubles from 11 attempts and also finished 112 and 124 as he moved into the last 16, where he meets Australian ace Kyle Anderson on Tuesday.
"It would be nice to win this event - especially with my reputation on doubles, but the class of players is so high now that you've got to take each game as it comes," said Anderson.
"I take my hat off to Kyle because he's left his family in Australia and come to the UK to play darts and that shows the kind of head he's got on his shoulders.
"He wants to make a living and be a name in darts, so it's going to be a tough one but I'm looking forward to it.
"I've not played much darts in the past few weeks but I'm happy with the way the darts are going now."
The opening night was an unhappy one for 2015 World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton, who lost out over three sets to Stephen Bunting as the former Lakeside Champion came from a set down to take victory.
Bunting now plays Belgium's Kim Huybrechts - who stared defeat in the face as he came from a set down to defeat Ian White - in Tuesday's second round, as he aims to push towards a first PDC major title.
"Coming into this tournament it was such a difficult game," said Bunting, a semi-finalist two years ago. "Robert's not been playing his best lately but he saves his best for here so it's good to get over the line.
"In the last couple of months my form has been coming back, my scoring's back and I'm hitting my doubles and I can look forward to the next game. I've got to raise my game but I'll keep doing what I do and hopefully it's good enough on the day."
Two-time World Grand Prix winner Wade also exited at the first round stage as he lost in the deciding leg of his three-set contest with Terry Jenkins in a repeat of the 2007 final.
"It's pleasing to win because I've been playing so well lately but not scraping the win," said Jenkins. "James is a tough player to beat, especially on double-in, but I kept the pressure on him and it worked.
"Maybe this is a turning point so hopefully I can carry this on. When I get on that board I feel so good but I know I've got a tough game next."
Jenkins' second round opponent will be emerging Dutchman Benito van de Pas, who dropped only two legs as he defeated Gerwyn Price in straight sets.
2010 finalist Adrian Lewis impressed with a 2-1 win over Jelle Klaasen as he moved through to a meeting with another former World Grand Prix runner-up, Raymond van Barneveld.
"It was a great game for both of us and to get the result, when Jelle was playing well, is a big thing for me," said Lewis. "My starting doubles were really good and my darts were going nicely - I can't ask for any more than that."
Van Barneveld hit finishes of 164 and 130 as he defeated 2012 runner-up Mervyn King in straight sets.
"The double start is an extra handicap so it's tough but it's nice to win in Ireland again because it's been a couple of years," he said. "I'm looking forward to playing Adrian - everyone's beatable and hopefully I'm playing well.
"I've finished well in the last couple of weeks. If I keep Adrian under pressure maybe I can go all the way. I'm not there yet but the confidence is coming back."
The first round concludes on Monday night live on Sky Sports, with the eight matches including world number one Michael van Gerwen's meeting with Steve Beaton and 11-time champion Phil Taylor up against Dublin debutant Steve West.
Ireland's Mick McGowan meets another debutant, James Wilson, while world number five Peter Wright faces Northern Ireland's Brendan Dolan and number eight seed Michael Smith plays Alan Norris.
The event's other Northern Irish qualifier, Daryl Gurney, plays Austrian Mensur Suljovic, 2013 finalist Dave Chisnall takes on Robbie Green and Joe Cullen plays Simon Whitlock, Saturday's Players Championship winner.