Michael van Gerwen beats Keegan Brown at World Grand Prix
Last Updated: 05/10/15 5:54pm
Michael van Gerwen began the defence of his World Grand Prix title with a tight victory over Keegan Brown in Dublin.
The Dutchman was pushed all the way by Brown - dubbed 'the new MVG' in the run-up to the quickfire tournament - before coming through 2-1.
A Sunday stroll seemed on the cards when Van Gerwen rattled off the first four legs in the best-of-three-sets tie, but trouble with his opening double encouraged Brown in the next and he took out 68 to level it at 1-1 in sets.
A 14-dart leg stopped the rot for the champion only for Brown to knock off a 152 clearance and make it 1-1 in legs in the decider.
But nerves got to Brown as opening doubles began to prove elusive, and Van Gerwen finished the job on tops to reach the second round.
Fourth seed Peter Wright had earlier bitten the dust in a nail-biter with Dave Chisnall, going down 3-2 in a deciding set.
Wright - hair dyed green presumably in acknowledgement of his hosts - missed double eight and double four in the final leg, and Chisnall took out 80 to make him pay.
In the meeting of two former world champions Adrian Lewis had little trouble dealing with Raymond van Barneveld, easing to a 2-0 win for the loss of just one leg - defeat for Barney means he now drops out of the PDC top 16.
Brendan Dolan crashed out after losing to Jelle Klaasen in the final match of the night, while Stephen Bunting was another surprise exit as he was defeated by Mark Webster.
Jamie Lewis and Kim Huybrechts secured early wins over William O'Connor and Benito van de Pas, respectively, while Michael Smith won a battle of up-and-coming prospects against Gerwyn Smith.