Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and James Wade will headline the opening night of the 2017 BetVictor World Matchplay a week on Saturday.
The schedule of play for the major tournament, which this year features a record £500,000 in prize money, has been released, with the trio of major winners all set to be in action at Blackpool’s famous Winter Gardens on the first day on Saturday, July 22.
Former world youth champion Michael Smith will face World Matchplay debutant Steve West in the opening game of the tournament, before 2007 champion James Wade takes on Darren Webster.
World number two Gary Anderson then gets his campaign started against debutant Christian Kist, before UK Open champion Peter Wright, the number three seed, faces another debutant James Wilson in the last game of day one.
The following day includes a double session of first round matches, starting in the afternoon with Premier League ace Jelle Klaasen facing two-time Blackpool quarter-finalist Justin Pipe, who snatched the final qualification spot in the tournament last weekend.
Former UK Open and World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton then plays Spanish debutant Cristo Reyes, emerging talents Benito van de Pas and Daryl Gurney clash before last year’s European Championship runner-up Mensur Suljovic meets John Henderson.
Phil Taylor, a 15-time winner of the World Matchplay, begins his final challenge in Blackpool before retirement in Sunday’s evening session when he takes on UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price.
Sunday night will also see Premier League stars Dave Chisnall, Raymond van Barneveld and Kim Huybrechts all in action, as they take on Mervyn King, Joe Cullen and Alan Norris respectively.
The first round reaches its conclusion on Monday, July 24 with the reigning World Matchplay champion Michael van Gerwen beginning his bid for a third successive title in Blackpool against Stephen Bunting.
The final night of first round action begins with the all-Australian clash between Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson, before Adrian Lewis takes on Steve Beaton and Ian White meets fast-emerging debutant Rob Cross.
The second round then takes place across the next two days (July 25 and 26), with the quarter-finals following on July 27 and 28, before the semi-finals and final are held over July 29 and 30, with the eventual champion taking home £115,000.
2017 BetVictor World Matchplay
Saturday July 22 (7pm)
Michael Smith v Steve West
James Wade v Darren Webster
Gary Anderson v Christian Kist
Peter Wright v James Wilson
Sunday July 23
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Jelle Klaasen v Justin Pipe
Robert Thornton v Cristo Reyes
Benito van de Pas v Daryl Gurney
Mensur Suljovic v John Henderson
Evening Session (7.30pm)
Dave Chisnall v Mervyn King
Phil Taylor v Gerwyn Price
Raymond van Barneveld v Joe Cullen
Kim Huybrechts v Alan Norris
Monday July 24 (7pm)
Simon Whitlock v Kyle Anderson
Adrian Lewis v Steve Beaton
Michael van Gerwen v Stephen Bunting
Ian White v Rob Cross
Tuesday July 25 (7pm)
Suljovic/Henderson v Klaasen/Pipe
Wade/Webster v Smith/West
Anderson/Kist v Van de Pas/Gurney
Wright/Wilson v Thornton/Reyes
Wednesday July 26 (7pm)
Chisnall/King v Huybrechts/Norris
Lewis/Beaton v White/Cross
Taylor/Price v Van Barneveld/Cullen
Van Gerwen/Bunting v Whitlock/Anderson
Thursday July 27 (7pm)
Friday July 28 (7pm)
Saturday July 29 (7pm)
Sunday July 30 (7pm)
First Round – Best of 19 legs
Second Round – Best of 21 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 31 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 33 legs
Final – Best of 35 legs
* Each game must be won by two clear legs, with up to a maximum of five additional legs being played before the sixth additional leg is sudden-death. For example, should a First Round game (best of 19 legs) reach 12-12, then the 25th leg would be the final and deciding leg.
Second Round Losers £11,000
First Round Losers £7,000
* Should any player achieve a nine-dart finish, a £10,000 bonus will be on offer, which would be shared on a pro-rata basis should more than one player hit a perfect leg.