Former BDO world champion Mark Webster has opted against entering this week’s PDC Qualifying School, having just relinquished his place on the Pro Tour circuit.
There is expected to be a record number of entrants competing in UK and European Qualifying School from January 16-19 in Wigan and Hildesheim respectively, with entries closing on Tuesday afternoon.
Nevertheless, Webster – twice a PDC World Championship semi-finalist, took to social media on Tuesday morning to confirm that he would not be participating at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.
“After careful consideration, I have decided not to enter the 2020 PDC Q School this week. It was massively disappointing for me to lose my Tour Card at the end of 2019. I’d given everything last year but it wasn’t enough in the end and I’ve got no complaints,” Webster wrote on Twitter.
“I’ve still got the desire to come back again in future, I love the buzz of playing and want to be part of the big events again, but at the moment the best thing for my game is to have a break from competition and to work to try to get my game back to the level which I know I can achieve,” he added.
The Welshman has been an ever-present on the PDC circuit since making the switch in 2009 – reaching two World Championship semi-finals, two World Cup of Darts finals whilst also featuring in the 2011 Premier League.
The left-hander battled with dartitis for a number of years which coincided with him dropping out of the world’s top 32, although he battled back valiantly with runs to the World Grand Prix semi-finals and Grand Slam quarter-finals in 2015.
However, the 36-year-old – now a permanent fixture within Sky Sports’ commentary team, has appeared in the solitary major tournament during the last 12 months – a third-round exit at the UK Open, which has contributed to him slipping outside the world’s top 64.
Photo Credit: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe