By Alex Moss
12 MAY 2017 • 3:36PM
Darryl Fitton will begin the defence of the BDO World Trophy against Conan Whitehead at the end of this month.
The 55-year-old won his first major title on British soil when he beat Peter Machin 13-9 in the final of the World Trophy last year.
The first round draw for this year’s staging of the BDO major took place yesterday, with Fitton drawn against Gillingham’s Whitehead, who will be making his debut in the World Trophy this year.
Reigning BDO world champion Glen Durrant is the top seed for the tournament and is bidding to complete the triple crown, with the World Trophy the only BDO major missing from his trophy cabinet.
Durrant takes on Yorkshire captain Brian Dawson in his opening game, while second seed Mark McGeeney, the winner of the Dutch Open in February, faces Dutchman Wouter Vaes in the last 32.
Third seed Jamie Hughes, a beaten semi-finalist in the World Trophy last year, goes up against Canada’s Jeff Smith, who was one of three players to win a spot in the event via the qualifiers in Wales earlier today.
2015 BDO world champion Scott Mitchell faces Turkey’s Umit Uygunsozlu, while last year’s PDC Development Tour Order of Merit winner Dean Reynolds takes on his fellow Welshman Jim Williams.
Sixth seed Danny Noppert, runner-up to Durrant at Lakeside at the start of the year, opens against Willem Mandigers in an all-Dutch clash, while eighth seed Wesley Harms begins his campaign against Japanese qualifier Yuya Higuchi.
Two-time world champion Scott Waites plays England international James Hurrell, Lithuania number one Darius Labanauskas takes on Sweden’s Dennis Nilsson, and recent Dutch Open finalist Ross Montgomery goes up against American qualifier Joe Chaney.
Three-time Lakeside winner Martin Adams faces Scottish Open winner Cameron Menzies, Belgium’s Geert de Vos will play last year’s World Trophy runner-up Machin, and Welsh ace Nick Kenny takes on qualifier Martin Atkins.
Former World Masters champion Martin Phillips has been drawn against qualifier Carl Dennel and 16th seed Richard Veenstra faces 2004 world champion Andy Fordham.
The World Trophy takes place at the Memo Arts Centre, in Barry, Wales on May 26-29.
2017 BDO World Trophy Qualifiers
Glen Durrant (1) v Brian Dawson
Richard Veenstra (16) v Andy Fordham
Wesley Harms (8) v Yuya Higuchi
Scott Waites (9) v James Hurrell
Dean Reynolds (5) v Jim Williams
Martin Adams (12) v Cameron Menzies
Scott Mitchell (4) v Umit Uygunsozlu
Geert de Vos (13) v Peter Machin
Mark McGeeney (2) v Wouter Vaes
Martin Phillips (15) v Carl Dennel
Darryl Fitton (7) v Conan Whitehead
Darius Labanauskas (10) v Dennis Nilsson
Danny Noppert (6) v Willem Mandigers
Ross Montgomery (11) v Joe Chaney
Jamie Hughes (3) v Jeff Smith
Nick Kenny (14) v Martin Atkins