Australian darts player Simon Whitlock.
Australian darts player Simon Whitlock. MICK TSIKAS

Whitlock in cruise control at world championships

DARTS: Australia's Simon Whitlock has beaten German qualifier Dargutin Horvat to reach the second round of the World Darts Championship in London.

The 2010 finalist, from Hornsby in New South Wales, never looked like dropping a set against his German opponent and produced the moment of the night as he hit the bullseye to complete a 170 checkout in the third set.

Whitlock, who has been struggling for form this season, stormed to a 2-0 lead but it was his darts in the final set that fired out a strong warning to the rest of the field.

His maximum checkout of 170 was followed by a finish of 158 to wrap up the match 3-0.

"I was in control from the start,” Whitlock said.

"I have worked very hard over the last four months to prepare for this one tournament. The last two years have been dreadful here but I felt fantastic and have prepared really well.”

Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld thrashed Robbie Green 3-0 to ease into the second round.