Phil Taylor has withdrawn from next week’s inaugural U.S Masters on medical advice, after battling sickness during the recent Shanghai Darts Masters.
Taylor arrived in China on Tuesday and began feeling unwell the following day. Nevertheless, he kicked off his campaign with a 6-1 win over South Korean Hyun Chul Park, before suffering an agonising quarter-final defeat to eventual winner Michael van Gerwen- where he missed a match dart at tops having led 6-2.
However, Taylor was examined by a doctor after the event and ‘The Power’ has decided to return home, as he prepares for his final World Matchplay campaign at the Winter Gardens, where he’ll be bidding to win an unprecedented 16th title in Blackpool.
Taylor said: “I’m sorry to all my fans in America that I won’t be there next week. I was really looking forward to playing in Las Vegas where I have had so many happy memories from the Desert Classic.
“I began to feel unwell on Wednesday morning and to be honest it didn’t get any better over the next couple of days and I was thinking about whether I could even play here in China. But I got through it and did my best against Michael on Friday.
“I’d seen a doctor in the afternoon and he said it wasn’t a good idea for me to get on a plane for such a long time but my last Blackpool is so important to me so I have reluctantly decided to travel home.
“I really want to be at my best for the Matchplay which has always been my favourite tournament and I couldn’t take any risks with more travelling and spending a week in the heat.”
Taylor’s place in the inaugural U.S Masters has now been taken by eight-time major winner James Wade, with Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Raymond van Barneveld, Gerwyn Price, Daryl Gurney and Max Hopp the other seeds set to compete.
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