PDC World Darts 2018: Taylor v Dobey, Van Gerwen v Kist in round one

Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor won the first of his 16 world darts titles in 1990

Sixteen-time world champion Phil Taylor will face Chris Dobey in the first round of the PDC World Championship - his last event before he retires.

Taylor, 57, announced in January that 2017 would be his final year on the Professional Darts Corporation tour.

World number one Michael van Gerwen will start the defence of his title against fellow Dutchman Christian Kist.

Previous two-time winners Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis have been drawn against qualifiers.

Van Gerwen, 28, is aiming to win a third world crown, having clinched his second by beating Scotland's Anderson in the 2017 final in January.

Taylor, whose 16th World Championship title came in 2013, was beaten by Raymond van Barneveld at the quarter-final stage last year.

His first-round opponent Dobey, from Northumberland, will be making just his second World Championship appearance. He reached the last 32 in the 2017 event, losing to Dave Chisnall.

The Alexandra Palace in London will host the PDC World Championship for the 11th successive year from 14 December-1 January.

A field of 72 players will compete for a £1.8m prize fund and a record £400,000 first prize.

First-round draw

Mervyn King v Zoran Lerchbacher

Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort

Joe Cullen v Jermaine Wattimena

Michael van Gerwen v Christian Kist

James Wade v Keegan Brown

Steve Beaton v William O'Connor

Alan Norris v Kim Viljanen

Rob Cross v Seigo Asada or Gordon Mathers

Kyle Anderson v Peter Jacques

Adrian Lewis v Aleksandr Oreshkin or Kevin Munch

Michael Smith v Steve Lennon

Daryl Gurney v Ronny Huybrechts

Peter Wright v Diogo Portela

Robert Thornton v Brendan Dolan or Alan Ljubic

Jelle Klaasen v Jan Dekker

Simon Whitlock v Martin Schindler

Gerwyn Price v Ted Evetts

Jonny Clayton v Kenny Neyens or Jamie Lewis

James Wilson v Krzystof Ratajski

Justin Pipe v Xiao Chen Zong or Bernie Smith

Cristo Reyes v Antonio Alcinas

Darren Webster v Devon Petersen

Mark Webster v Kai Fen Lung or Paul Lim

Ian White v Willard Bruguier or Cody Harris

Kim Huybrechts v James Richardson

John Henderson v Marko Kantele

Phil Taylor v Chris Dobey

Mensur Suljovic v Kevin Painter

Stephen Bunting v Dimitri van den Bergh

Benito van de Pas v Steve West

Gary Anderson v Jeff Smith or Luke Humphries

Raymond van Barneveld v Richard North

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