Van Gerwen eases past Lim at Ally Pally
Michael van Gerwen began his Ladbrokes Darts World Championship campaign with a 3-0 victory over Singapore's Paul Lim.
The Dutchman is one of the favourites this year having triumphed in the World Grand Prix in October - his first PDC title - although he was given a tougher-than-expected test at Alexander Palace.
Lim, who had defeated Mohd Latif Sapup in the preliminary round earlier in the night, refused to be overawed by the occasion before he was eventually ground down by the in-form Van Gerwen.
"I'm not overly impressed with my performance, but I won in straight sets, so that's a good feeling," Van Gerwen, who will face Peter Wright in the second round, told the tournament's official website www.pdc.tv.
Fellow Dutchman Vincent van der Voort also sealed his passage into the last 32 by easing past debutant Stuart Kellett 3-0.
Kellett missed several chances in a tense opening set and although he forced a decider in the next, his 37-year-old opponent landed a pressure third-dart double top to extend his lead.
Van der Voort, a quarter-finalist two years ago, moved a leg away from victory and although Kellett produced a fine 11-darter in the third leg, it simply delayed the inevitable as the number 19 seed found double top to close out the match.
Scott Rand came from a set down to edge past Belgium's Kim Huybrechts 3-2 in an entertaining encounter.
It was a topsy-turvy affair in the opening stages, with Huybrechts winning both his sets 3-0 in-between losing the second by the same score.
Rand forced a decider and a brilliant 90 finish left him on the cusp of victory, which he achieved with a double 16.
In the first match of the evening, Mark Walsh defeated Darren Webster 3-1.