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WORLD No.4 Simon Whitlock will have a rare home-ground advantage when the Sydney Masters starts at Luna Park today.

The 44-year-old Aussie, who spends most of his time playing professionally in England, will take on 16-time world champion Phil Taylor, Dutch pair Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld, and two-time world champion Adrian Lewis during the tournament.

"To have the opportunity to play in what is a massive tournament over here is going to be very special," Whitlock (pictured) said.

"If I could win in Australia it would be one of the highlights of my career."

The sold-out tournament is the second event in the new World Series of Darts.

That series started in May with the Dubai Masters, which was won by Van Gerwen.

The quarter-finals will be played tomorrow night and the semi-finals and final on Saturday.

Whitlock said he had some added incentive to beat Englishmen Taylor and Lewis after Australia was beaten by the British & Irish Lions in the rugby series and also in the Ashes.


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