Phil Taylor will be absent from the Players Championship Finals in Minehead next month, after opting not to enter the final two Players Championship events of the year in Barnsley next week.
The field for next month’s tournament in Minehead is comprised solely of the top 64 players on the Players Championship Order of Merit. Taylor currently sits in 108th position, having won £3,500 from the three events he’s competed in throughout the year, therefore he is unable to make the cut.
‘The Power’ participated in the opening triple-header in Barnsley back in April, but after failing to go beyond the last 16 across either day, he has not competed since. This means that the 16-time world champion will miss out on a TV ranking major for the first time in PDC history.
However, Taylor’s absence in Minehead is self-imposed, as back in May he claimed that he has essentially entered semi-retirement, by prioritising major TV tournaments over a packed Pro Tour schedule.
In an interview with Gulf News, The Stoke-on-Trent star revealed: “I’m 56 this year and I’m slowing down now, I’m semi-retiring. We’re going to sit down in January, Bob [Glenn, his aide] looks after me and my diary and everything.
“This year’s taped out now, so we’ll look at the calendar and have a holiday or something. I’ve had 30 years of running around now; it takes its toll,” Taylor admitted.
‘The Power’ again hinted at retirement after thrashing Michael van Gerwen to win the Champions League of Darts last month, although given the quality of his performances in Cardiff, any talk of imminent retirement seems ludicrously premature.
Nevertheless, Taylor isn’t the only high-profile name to be missing out on a TV ranking tournament in the coming months. Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld are both missing out on the European Championships in Hasselt in a fortnight, after finishing outside the top 32 on the European Tour Order of Merit.
However, Taylor’s absence in Minehead could have repercussions for his position on the PDC Order of Merit. The 16-time world champion is currently ranked fourth in the world, his lowest position since the PDC’s inception.
Taylor is ranked below Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis, although Peter Wright only trails ‘The Power’ by a meagre £10,000. Additionally, Taylor is defending £11,500 from reaching the quarter-finals in Minehead two years ago, therefore he could slip to as low world number five prior to the World Championships.
The 56-year-old unquestionably remains amongst the very elite in world darts. He again demonstrated his class by winning the inaugural Champions League of Darts last month, but his sporadic participation on the Pro Tour could see his ranking position continue on a downward trajectory.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC