Stephen Bunting faces a daunting first hurdle in the £400,000 World Grand Prix of Darts which gets under way at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin on Sunday (October 2).
The St Helens ace will take on Scot Robert Thornton - the surprise winner of the unique double-start tournament 12 months ago after a thrilling deciding-set triumph over world’s no one Michael van Gerwen.
“It’s a tough draw but I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait to get back to Dublin,” said Thornton.
“The last couple of years have given me memories which I can treasure for a lifetime.”
Monday’s action opens as Bunting’s ‘stablemate’ Dave Chisnall plays Liverpudlian debutant Robbie Green, while number eight seed Michael Smith meets Yeovil’s Alan Norris.
The quarter-finals will be held on Thursday (October 6), with the semi-finals on the following day and the final on the Saturday.