PDC World Darts Championship
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: 16 December-3 January
Coverage: Live on Sky Sports, reports and results on BBC Sport website
Whitlock lost last January's final to Phil Taylor on a 7-3 scoreline
Last year's beaten finalist Simon Whitlock eased into round two of the World Darts Championship with a 3-0 win over Steve Evans at Alexandra Palace.
Australian Whitlock was defeated by Phil Taylor in last January's decider.
And, while not in spectacular form, his clinical victory over Welshman Evans was enough to suggest he should be a contender again.
The 2005 runner-up Mark Dudbridge, Andy Hamilton and 11th-ranked Gary Anderson also advanced to the second round.
Dudbridge came from behind to beat Alex Roy 3-1. Roy hit two 180s in the opening leg as he went on to claim the first set, but Dudbridge improved steadily throughout the contest to progress to a clash with Adrian Lewis after Christmas.
Hamilton, 12th in the PDC's Order of Merit, struggled to score heavily in his match with Dennis Smith. However, Smith, ranked 44th, consistently let his opponent off the hook by missing doubles as Hamilton battled through 3-0.
Unheralded Japanese Morihiro Hashimoto had a shock 4-2 win over Matt Padgett to win over the crowd and set up a first-round match with Scotland's Anderson.
However, when Hashimoto returned to the stage later on Saturday night he failed to win a leg as Anderson stormed into the next round.