AUSTRALIAN rivals Simon Whitlock and Corey Cadby will clash in the Melbourne Darts Masters first round on Friday, as Michael van Gerwen meets debutant Raymond Smith at the Hisense Arena.
The PDC World Series of Darts returns to Australia following last week's Auckland Darts Masters as 16 players compete in Melbourne from August 10-12.
The first round's stand-out tie will see the most successful Australian star in darting history, former European Championship winner Whitlock, taking on former World Youth Champion Cadby.
Melbourne-based Cadby, the UK Open runner-up in March, reached the 2017 Auckland Darts Masters final and is returning to action on the big stage for the first time in five months.
The tournament's other seeded Australian, former Auckland Darts Masters champion Kyle Anderson, has drawn his former schoolmate in Perth, Damon Heta.
Michael van Gerwen, whose win in the Auckland Darts Masters last weekend earned him the top seeding in Melbourne, has drawn Brisbane's Raymond Smith, who is making his TV debut.
World Champion Rob Cross takes on DartPlayers New Zealand qualifier Haupai Puha, who make his big-stage debut in Auckland alongside Tim Pusey, who has drawn Michael Smith.
2018 UK Open and World Matchplay winner Gary Anderson comes up against Brisbane-based qualifier James Bailey, while fellow World Series debutants Mike Bonser and Raymond O'Donnell draw Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld respectively.
Following Friday's first round of the Melbourne Darts Masters, the tournament continues across the weekend at the Hisense Arena, with the quarter-finals on Saturday followed by the semi-finals and final on Sunday.
With 2017 champion Phil Taylor - who won the inaugural title in Melbourne with a defeat of Wright in the final - having retired, a new name will be on the trophy on Sunday night.
Following the Melbourne Darts Masters, the Australian double-header sees the World Series of Darts head to Queensland for the first Brisbane Darts Masters from August 17-19.
Tickets for the Melbourne Darts Masters and Brisbane Darts Masters are available from ticketek.com.au.
2018 Melbourne Darts Masters
(1) Michael van Gerwen v Raymond Smith
Simon Whitlock v Corey Cadby
(4) Peter Wright v Mike Bonser
Raymond van Barneveld v Raymond O'Donnell
(2) Rob Cross v Haupai Puha
Michael Smith v Tim Pusey
(3) Gary Anderson v James Bailey
Kyle Anderson v Damon Heta