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Luke Littler will play Dirk van Duijvenbode to open Dutch Darts Masters, with Michael van Gerwen and more in action



Teenage sensation Luke Littler will play Dirk van Duijvenbode in his opening match at the TOTO Dutch Darts Masters.

The World Series event runs from January 26-27 at De Maaspoort in Den Bosch.

Littler, 17, made a stunning World Series debut with a nine-darter on his way to victory in the Bahrain Darts Masters last weekend, when he beat Michael van Gerwen in the final.

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Luke Littler reflects on his triumph at the Bahrain Masters and looks ahead to the next competition he hopes to take by storm – the Dutch Masters

“I said I’d take a slow start and then I hit a nine in the first leg, it’s always a bonus!” Littler said. “I was just glad to get over the line.

“I was happy to go out to Bahrain and win it,” he continued. “It was a good experience.

“You could hear everything in the crowd and it was good to see so many youngsters at the live draw.

“Eight of us [seeded players] took pictures and signed autographs. The world has gone mad.

“I didn’t expect to beat those players, I know I have got my own ability and I believe in my ability and that is what gets me over the line.”

Dutch legend van Gerwen, the world No 2, has drawn experienced compatriot Vincent van der Voort, while five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld plays Rob Cross.

Reigning tournament champion Dimitri van den Bergh will open his defence of the title against Gerwyn Price on Friday.

World champion Luke Humphries has drawn Jermaine Wattimena in another high-profile first round tie, with the winner set to face Littler or Van Duijvenbode in the quarter-finals.

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Glen Durrant says we are witnessing a special talent in Luke Littler and believes he could win the Premier League in his debut year

Third seed Michael Smith will take on Dutch prospect Gian van Veen in their first round tie, while former UK Open champions Nathan Aspinall and Danny Noppert clash and Peter Wright faces emerging star Kevin Doets.

“The standard is going to be good once again,” Smith said. “All eight of the representatives are good.

“Every first round game is going to be tough for us, so it’s going to be a good weekend.

“It would be a massive bonus if I win it but if I do lose it’s back home and focus on Cardiff in the Premier League.”

The eventual winner of the TOTO Dutch Darts Masters on Saturday night will be presented with the Toon Greebe Trophy, which was unveiled at Thursday’s event launch at Den Bosch Town Hall.

Greebe – who lived in Den Bosch – competed twice in the PDC World Championship during a career which spanned 15 years, but passed away in October 2023.

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Luke Littler says he has proven he’s got the ability to win after defeating Michael van Gerwen in the final of the Bahrain Masters and claiming his maiden senior PDC title

“Toon was a very popular player and I know he’s missed by many people,” said PDC chief executive Matt Porter.

“It is fitting that we can honour his memory with the introduction of the Toon Greebe Trophy for the TOTO Dutch Darts Masters in his home town this weekend.”

Premier League Darts returns to Sky Sports on Thursday, February 1 as Cardiff kicks off the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs on Thursday, May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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