Darts superstar Michael van Gerwen is relishing the chance to renew his rivalry with Simon Whitlock when the pair meet at Montrose Town Hall tonight.
World number one “Mighty Mike” will go head to head with “The Wizard” from Australia in Angus just days after their thrilling clash in the European Championship in Hasselt, Belgium on Friday.
Van Gerwen, who has claimed the Euro title for the past two years, saw his bid to complete a treble of wins threatened when Australian ace Whitlock – the 2012 champion – dominated their first-round clash.
After sharing the opening four legs, Whitlock pulled ahead to lead 4-2 with the aid of a roof-raising 170 checkout and then was on the brink of victory at 5-3.
Van Gerwen, though, finished double 16 and 87 to force a decider, with Whitlock missing double 15 for the match on a 150 checkout to allow the world No 1 back in to finally secure the win.
The Dutch ace is now looking forward to his showdown in the exhibition game this evening.
Van Gerwen said: “Simon has been playing better than ever recently and this was the toughest match I played all weekend.
“I expect more of the same from him in tonight’s match.
“It’s always a great night in Scotland and I’m also looking to playing some of the fans on stage.”
Whitlock has been ruing what might have been and is also keen for a rematch.
He said: “I could not have been closer to double 15 to knock Mike out but I’m back to my best this past few months and I’m raring to go against him again.
“I’ve also had three nine-darters in the past month so I will be hoping to do another one for the amazing crowds we always get in Scotland anywhere we play.”
Tickets, priced at £50 (VIP) and £40 (standard), are available from The Black Abbot in Montrose or on the door at the venue on the night.
The chance to play a leg of darts against Van Gerwen will be auctioned at the event to help raise funds for local man Darren Lamb’s wheelchair.
The match will be MC’d by Sky TV’s John McDonald and scored by Sky referee George Noble.