FRESH from their exploits in the CityWest Hotel in Dublin at the World Grand Prix, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) road show returns to Killarney this weekend for the sixth consecutive year with the staging of the 2012 Killarney Darts Festival at the INEC.
Expanded to three days this year, the competition will feature a second PDC Pro Tour event on Saturday as opposed to one in the past with a whooping €100,000 in prize money on offer to some of the PDC's finest. The event will be headlined by the appearance of last Sunday's Grand Prix finalists Michael Van Gerwen from Holland and Mervyn King as well as leading Irish player Brendan Dolan from Fermanagh who reached the semifinals of last week's event.
INEC events manager Andrew Spillane admits that the event is a huge undertaking from a logistical point of view but a challenge the organisers are very much looking forward to.
"The PDC have really enjoyed coming to Killarney over the last six years, not just because of the darts and the set-up itself but also the warm welcome they receive from everyone in Killarney as well as the beautiful scenery around the town.
"The fact they have put on the extra Pro Tour event on Saturday is a massive vote of confidence to the Festival and we're looking forward to Michael (Van Gerwen) and Mervyn (King) who contested last Sunday's Final in CityWest and especially Brendan (Dolan) after his great run of form over the last 12 months," he told The Kerryman.
Defending Johnny McEvoy Gold Classic champion Justin Pipe as well as former World Champions John Part, Mark Webster and Ted Hankey are some of the big names scheduled to attend alongside former World Championship finalists Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock and Andy Hamilton.
The Festival kicks off on Friday with the Ladbrokes Irish Masters (which is being defended by Mark Walsh) starting at 6.30pm while Saturday sees the Gleneagle Hotel Players Championship beginning at 12pm.
The Gold Dart Classic begins at the same time on Sunday with the Silver (Ladies) and Bronze (Youths) Championships also down for decision that day.