By Alex Moss
28 NOVEMBER 2016 • 5:29PM
Gary Anderson will start his bid to complete a hat-trick of William Hill World Darts Championship titles against Mark Frost on December 15.
The draw for the first round of the PDC’s flagship tournament, which this year offers a record prize fund of £1,650,000, took place in London today.
Anderson has won the last two stagings of the World Championship at Alexandra Palace, beating Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis in the finals of the 2015 and 2016 events.
The second seed begins his campaign for a third consecutive world title against Frost, who won today’s PDPA Qualifier in Wigan to secure his debut in the lucrative tournament.
“It’s a really tough draw,” Anderson said. “Mark’s been around the circuit for a lot of years and is a good player, so I know I’ll have to be ready for him but I can’t wait to get back to Ally Pally.
“It’s a couple of weeks until the tournament starts now and I’ll be putting in the work on the board because it would be special if I can win the title for a third time. I’d love to do it again.”
World number one Michael van Gerwen is the hot favourite to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy on January 2, with the Dutchman drawn against the winner of the preliminary round game between Canada’s Ross Snook and Finland’s Kim Viljanen.
Fourth seed Phil Taylor begins his bid for a 17th world title against either PDPA Qualifier John Bowles or Oceanic Masters winner David Platt.
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis will take on Sweden’s Magnus Caris, while five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld faces debutant Robbie Green.
World number Peter Wright will play either Dutch qualifier Jerry Hendriks or New Zealand’s Warren Parry in the first round, while sixth seed James Wade takes on Belgum’s Ronny Huybrechts.
Last night’s Players Championship Finals runner-up Dave Chisnall meets Austrian youngster Rowby-John Rodriguez, while eighth seed Mensur Suljovic drew Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp.
The William Hill World Darts Championship will take place at Alexandra Palace, London from December 15 to January 2. The order of play will be confirmed in due course.
William Hill World Darts Championship
First Round Draw
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Ross Snook/Kim Viljanen
Cristo Reyes (32) v Dimitri van den Bergh
Stephen Bunting (16) v Darren Webster
Simon Whitlock (17) v Boris Koltsov/Dragutin Horvat
Mensur Suljovic (8) v Ron Meulenkamp
Mark Webster (25) v Joe Murnan
Robert Thornton (9) v Zoran Lerchbacher/Simon Stevenson
Daryl Gurney (24) v Jermaine Wattimena
Adrian Lewis (5) v Magnus Caris
Joe Cullen (28) v Qiang Sun/Corey Cadby
Raymond van Barneveld (12) v Robbie Green
Alan Norris (21) v John Michael
Phil Taylor (4) v John Bowles/David Platt
Jamie Caven (29) v Kevin Painter
Kim Huybrechts (13) v James Wilson
Vincent van der Voort (20) v Max Hopp
Gary Anderson (2) v Mark Frost
John Henderson (31) v Andrew Gilding
Benito van de Pas (15) v Tengku Shah/Masumi Chino
Terry Jenkins (18) v Josh Payne
Dave Chisnall (7) v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Justin Pipe (26) v Chris Dobey
Jelle Klaasen (10) v Jeffrey de Graaf
Brendan Dolan (23) v Christian Kist
James Wade (6) v Ronny Huybrechts
Steve Beaton (27) v Devon Petersen
Michael Smith (11) v Ricky Evans
Mervyn King (22) v Steve West
Peter Wright (3) v Jerry Hendriks/Warren Parry
Jamie Lewis (30) v Mick McGowan
Ian White (14) v Kevin Simm/Gilbert Ulang
Gerwyn Price (19) v Jonny Clayton