New world champion Peter Wright is eliminated from the Masters in the second round after being beaten 10-8 by Australian Simon Whitlock.
Whitlock was a late call-up to the tournament, replacing Danny Noppert, who withdrew Jan. 10.
This is only the second time Whitlock has reached the Masters quarter-finals.
Number three seed Michael van Gerwen survived five match darts missed by England’s Luke Humphries in a decisive final game to reach the quarters.
Defending Masters champion Jonny Clayton will meet fellow Welshman and world number one Gerwyn Price in the quarter-finals.
Wright, 51, led 3-2 in the first interval but quickly lost his lead to Whitlock, 52, who beat the two-time world champion in the ninth set to lead 6-4 in the second interval.
Whitlock was broken again in game 13 and despite a break from the Scot in game 16, the Aussie missed two match darts at the double eight to seal the victory at 9-7.
Two-time world champion Wright took advantage of the error to hold back his shot but it wasn’t enough as Whitlock won the match in the next game.
“I worked hard at the end, but I believed all along that I could do it,” Whitlock said.
Defending champion Clayton keeps his title defense on track by beating Belgium’s Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-9 in a tense final deciding match.
Both players put out over 100 checkouts early in the game, Van den Bergh threw a brilliant 170 checkout in the second leg and Clayton put out 101 in the fifth.
The pitching’s first break didn’t come until the 12th inning when the Welshman pulled out a 104 check to lead 7-5.
It looked like Pontyberem’s Clayton was heading for a 9-6 victory but Van den Bergh, 27, rallied to take the game to a decisive stage.
Clayton, 47, kept his cool in the final round as he won it in 12 darts to reach the quarter-finals.
“It was a particularly close game and I’m so happy to have pulled it off. I expected a tough game from Dimitri but I won,” said the reigning Premier League champion.
Clayton’s compatriot Price stormed out of the blocks in his second round match against England’s Ryan Searle.
World number one Price, 36, beat 16th-seeded Searle’s throw in the first leg and again in game five with a whopping 164 checkout to lead 4-1 in the first interval.
Players Championship final runner-up Searle, 34, fell back to 6-5 and despite Price falling back, Searle found himself one set behind Price who led 9-8.
It was the former world champion who held his shot in the final set to win 10-8 and set up an all-Welsh quarter-final against fellow World Cup teammate Clayton.
In the final game of the evening, Van Gerwen survived a scare to come back from 9-7 down to beat Humphries 10-9.
Van Gerwen, 32, led 4-3 but Humphries, 26, pulled back twice to lead 8-7 and held his throw to move within a leg of the win.
Three-time world champion Van Gerwen held his shot and pulled back as 2019 youth world champion Humphries missed crucial game darts to level the score at 9-9.
The Dutchman held his throw to win the game and will meet Joe Cullen in the quarters.
Anderson and Wade got dumped
Earlier in the afternoon, two-time world champion Gary Anderson and world number four James Wade were the first seeds to be knocked out in the second round.
Sixth seed Anderson was beaten 10-1 by Cullen and fourth seed Wade was beaten 10-4 by Dave Chisnall.
It was an impressive performance from Cullen who only lost his shot once in the match, in the rematch.
The Englishman, from Bradford, went on to win the next seven innings on the rebound and, including three superb successive checkouts – 167 and 142 followed by a 115 out hitting bull, 15, bull – to claim victory by averaging 106 games . .
“Gary has done me the last two, three, four times I’ve faced him, so to get one on him, especially on TV, whether it’s 10-9 or 10-1 like it was the case, I’m just happy to win,” said the 11th seed.
“I’m confident for tomorrow so I’ll see how it goes,” Cullen added.
In the final game of the second round of the afternoon, Wade led 3-2 in the first interval with neither player able to break the other’s throw until Chisnall, 41, came out of the deadlocked in game seven to lead 4-3.
Chisnall, of St Helens, won the next five innings and although Wade held his pitch in the 13th inning it was not enough as the number 13 seed booked his place in the quarter-finals.
2022 World Darts runner-up Michael Smith, 31, continued his good form with a comfortable 10-6 victory over Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski.
England’s Smith led 4-1 but 12th seed Ratajski came back into the game, winning the next three sets to level at 4-4.
Fifth seed Smith regained control, earning a classy 164 checkout to claim Stage 12 on his way to victory.
The crowd of 2,000 was behind Smith, who averaged 105 for the game and will face compatriot Chisnall in the quarter-finals.
Portugal’s De Sousa, 47, became the first player to book his place in the quarter-finals by beating England’s Rob Cross 10-7 in the first game of the afternoon.
Cross threw a stunning 146 checkout to win game seven and lead 4-3 but missed six darts at the double eight in game 10 to extend his lead. De Sousa capitalized on the Englishman’s error to equalize at 5-5.
The match again leveled at 6-6, but it was seventh seed De Sousa who retired and pulled out a 122 checkout in the final set to win.
Sunday quarter-final session (1245):
Dave Chisnall vs. Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price vs. Jonny Clayton
Jose de Sousa vs. Simon Whitlock
Joe Cullen vs. Michael van Gerwen