2022 Masters Darts: Format, draw, prize money and a look at the main contenders

Following a thrilling world championship last month, darts return to our screens with the 10th edition of the Masters.

The world's best 24 players are set to congregate in Milton Keynes for what promises to be a thrilling competition. 

The three-day event will see a total of 23 matches as players look to claim the £60,000 prize and possibly strengthen their position ahead of the Premier League player announcement.

Who is the defending champion?

Jonny Clayton kisses the trophy after winning the Ladbrokes Masters 2021 tournament at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes. Picture date: Sunday January 31, 2021.

Despite facing a horrendously tough draw, Jonny Clayton left Milton Keynes last year with his first individual televised title and £60,000 in prize money.

Clayton averaged 104 as he powered to an 11-8 victory over Mervyn King in the final.

On his way to the showpiece, Clayton got the better of Jose de Sousa, Michael van Gerwen, James Wade and Peter Wright.

The Welshman averaged over 100 in four of his five games to not only clinch the title but also bag a coveted place in the Premier League.

Clayton went on to have an incredible 2021 which saw him claim four major PDC titles. Considering the incredible form he's currently enjoying, the defending Masters champion will be one of the favourites to once again prevail in Milton Keynes.

Who are the main contenders?

Peter Wright celebrates during day two of the Ladbrokes Masters 2021 tournament at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes. Picture date: Saturday January 30, 2021.

Newly crowned world champion Peter Wright will undoubtedly be among the favourites.

The Scotsman beat Michael Smith to win his second world crown last month and he will be eyeing his second Masters title this weekend. Snakebite will take on the winner of Simon Whitlock vs Dirk van Duijvenbode.

Speaking of Smith, the 31-year-old is yet to win a major PDC title and he will see this tournament as a good opportunity to end his long wait for silverware.

Bully Boy played consistently well during the worlds and the shorter format may work in his favour. Smith will begin his campaign against the winner of Krzysztof Ratajski vs Gabriel Clemens.

Gerwyn Price celebrates during day two of the Ladbrokes Masters 2021 tournament at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes. Picture date: Saturday January 30, 2021.

Another man worth keeping an eye on is world No. 1 Gerwyn Price. The former world champion might be sporting a new hairstyle but don't expect a change in his playing style.

The Welshman is yet to win the Masters but has previously reached the semi-final stage.

The Iceman will face the winner of Ryan Searle vs Mervyn King and faces a possible mouth-watering clash with compatriot and defending champion Jonny Clayton in the quarter-finals.

One name who can never be underestimated is Michael van Gerwen. The Dutchman failed to win a single major title last year and will be desperate to change that in 2022.

The Green Machine will start his campaign against either Devon Petersen or Luke Humphries.

Who else is involved?

Gary Anderson darts PDC World Championships Dec21

World championship semi-finalists James Wade and Gary Anderson are both in the draw and will be looking to make an impact after impressing at Alexandra Palace.

The likes of Jose de Sousa, Daryl Gurney, Rob Cross, Dave Chisnall and Dimitri Van den Bergh are also involved.

Meanwhile, Nathan Aspinall and Danny Noppert have both withdrawn from the tournament and have been replaced by Simon Whitlock and Devon Petersen.

Where can I watch the 2022 Masters?

Viewers in the UK can catch all the action on ITV4.

What is the format?

The top eight players in the PDC Order of Merit have all got an automatic spot in the second round of the Masters.

The remaining 16 players will do battle in the opening round which will be played in a best-of-11-leg format.

The second-round and quarter-final matches will be a race to 10 legs, while the semi-finals and final will be best of 21 legs.

What is the schedule for the 2022 Masters?

All first-round games will take place on Friday, January 28. All second-round games will take place a day later on January 29.

Sunday is the final day of competition and will see all the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final itself.

How much prize money is on offer?

There's no change in prize money from 2021, meaning the winner will take home £60,000.

Winner: £60,000

Runner-up: £25,000

Semi-finalists: £17,500

Quarter-finalists: £10,000

Second-round losers: £5,000

First round losers: £2,500

Full 2022 Masters draw

Ryan Searle (16) vs Mervyn King (17) - Winner to play Gerwyn Price (1)

Dimitri Van den Bergh (9) vs Ian White (24) - Winner to play Jonny Clayton (8)

Dave Chisnall (13) vs Stephen Bunting (20) - Winner to play James Wade (4)

Krzysztof Ratajski (12) vs Gabriel Clemens (21) - Winner to play Michael Smith (5)

Dirk van Duijvenbode (15) vs Simon Whitlock - Winner to play Peter Wright (2)

Rob Cross (10) vs Brendan Dolan (23) - Winner to play Jose de Sousa (7)

Devon Petersen vs Luke Humphries (19) - Winner to play Michael van Gerwen (3)

Joe Cullen (11) vs Daryl Gurney (22) - Winner to play Gary Anderson (6)

READ MORE: Premier League Darts: Who will make the eight-player line-up?

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