Phil Taylor announces that 2017 will be last year on PDC circuit

Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor won the last of his world titles in 2013

Sixteen-time world champion Phil Taylor has announced that 2017 will be his final year on the Professional Darts Corporation tour circuit.

The 56-year-old will stop touring after the 2018 World Championship, which ends next January.

He says he may still play in the Premier League and the World Series.

The former world number one, now ranked number six, has also won 15 World Matchplays and the World Grand Prix on 11 occasions.

It is these major events, and the low-profile Players' Championship series which Taylor intends to give up, while still potentially being available to play in non-ranking tournaments like the lucrative Premier League, at the request of PDC chairman Barry Hearn.

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"The Premier League and the World Series are the ones that Barry has asked me to consider [playing in] so let's see what happens in January," Taylor told ITV 4.

"The Premier League and the World Series are six, seven, eight months out of the year, so it wouldn't be retiring really."

Taylor was speaking before a 10-6 win over Michael Smith in the first round of the Masters, the first televised tournament since his quarter-final exit at the World Championship to Raymond van Barneveld.

"It's the last year for me," he said. "This will probably be my last Masters.

"The World Championship will be my last one. I can enjoy it more. I'm more excited now and it's ever so strange.

"I've got butterflies, whereas I didn't have that before. I'm looking forward to the next 10 months."

Taylor, from Stoke-on-Trent, won the first of his world titles in 1990 when part of the British Darts Organisation, then the only major darts circuit.

He was one of 16 players that formed the breakaway World Darts Council in 1992, the company which became the PDC and held its own version of the world championship in 1994.

At the peak of his powers, Taylor won eight successive world titles between 1995 and 2002, but has not won the tournament since 2013.

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