REIGNING champion Daryl Gurney survived a scare against Dutch debutant Ron Meulenkamp in the second round of the Unibet World Grand Prix as three other seeds cruised into the quarter-finals.
Gurney raced into a two-set lead and looked to be coasting into the last eight of the double-start event before a determined Meulenkamp pegged him back to level the tie.
In a high-pressure final set, Gurney regained his composure to win three unanswered legs and run out a 3-2 winner as he continued his quest to claim the £100,000 top prize and retain the title.
“I put too much pressure on myself at times tonight but I think I did well to see it off in the end,” said Gurney, who will appear in the quarter-finals at the Citywest Convention Centre for a third successive year.
“At 2-0 up with the throw I should’ve killed the game off but fair play to Ron, he showed a lot of fight and did well to come back.
“I think it was a combination of him raising his game and a slight dip in standard from myself.
“When it came to the final set I was thinking to myself ‘whatever he does, he can scream in your face and jump around the stage, just you make sure you don’t miss that double 16’ and thankfully I found it.”
The world number five will now take on Gary Anderson in the last eight after the two-time World Champion whitewashed rising Dutch star Jeffrey de Zwaan 3-0 in a repeat of their World Matchplay semi-final.
Anderson wasted no time in claiming the first set and never allowed De Zwaan into the game thanks to his superior double-in success rate.
Anderson dropped just one leg in the match and sealed victory in style with a 130 checkout to continue his charge for a fifth televised title of the year.
“My throw doesn’t feel comfortable at all, I’m having to force them in but they’re going alright at the minute,” said Anderson.
“My doubles have always been fine, I’ve never doubted that even when people tried to tell me they were letting me down.
“It’s very hard playing with a double-start, some of the boys have been caught short, like Rob Cross, but I’ll keep going and see what happens.”
Three-time champion Michael van Gerwen had no difficulty in dispatching of Darren Webster, limiting the world number 14 to just one leg.
Van Gerwen kicked off the tie with a 104 finish which set the tone for the match as the ruthless Dutchman never allowed his opponent into the contest to make it 14 successive wins over Webster.
“I can’t really complain, of course I wish I’d played a bit better but it was enough to get the win,” said Van Gerwen.
“A 92 average isn’t bad, I’ve won this tournament with a lower average than that but Darren wasn’t at his best tonight.
“This is a special tournament for me, it was the first TV title I won in the PDC. I love playing for the crowd and for the fans at home.”
Van Gerwen’s quarter-final opponent will be former runner-up Dave Chisnall, who breezed past two-time finalist Raymond van Barneveld 3-0.
Chisnall, who struck five 180s, missed six darts to win the second set but the five-time World Champion failed to punish the world number eight before the 2013 finalist completed a one-sided win.
“That wasn’t Raymond up there, but you’ve just got to beat the man in front of you,” said Chisnall.
“It wasn’t pretty, I just kept making sure I beat Raymond’s score, but I’m happy with my night’s work and I’m pleased to be through to the quarter-finals of another TV event.
“I’ve saved my best game for the TV this year which isn’t a bad thing. I’ve come close here once before, maybe this year I can go one better.”
The Unibet World Grand Prix continues on Wednesday with the final four second round games, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports and worldwide through the PDC’s series of international broadcast partners, as well as at PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers.
World number two Peter Wright meets Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena, while 2010 Dublin finalist Adrian Lewis takes on James Wilson, Mensur Suljovic faces Ian White and Gerwyn Price plays Steve Beaton.
Unibet World Grand Prix
Tuesday October 2
Dave Chisnall 3-0 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 3-0 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Daryl Gurney 3-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Darren Webster
Wednesday October 3 (7pm)
Mensur Suljovic v Ian White
Steve Beaton v Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright v Jermaine Wattimena
James Wilson v Adrian Lewis