John Part has dismissed rumours of retirement by confirming he will return to Qualifying School in 2020 in a bid…
Part vows to prolong his playing career (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
John Part has dismissed rumours of retirement by confirming he will return to Qualifying School in 2020 in a bid to regain a PDC Tour Card.
The 53-year-old, the most successful Canadian player of all time, dropped off the PDC tour in 2018 after 21 years on the circuit and failed to regain his place at the first attempt at UK Qualifying School in January.
The three-time World Champion, who also works as a pundit and commentator for Sky Sports, competed in the first eight Challenge Tour events of the season, but racked up just £200 in prize money.
Part, however, has ended speculation over his retirement from the sport, telling Live Darts: “I don’t quit.
“As long as I’m able to, I’ll go play. I enjoy it.
“As hard as it was last year with 20 spots for 400 entries in the UK, it’s a pretty tall order but it makes it fun and interesting.
“You always get frustrated if you’re not doing what you want to do but you try and work to put it right.
“The further I get distance-wise from being at that top level where I was, there’s more pressure off my shoulders and I can play with more freedom.
“The top 50 guys in the world all look really good to me, is that because they are all really good or is it because I’m not world number two or three?
“I have to say, yes, the standard has gone up but competitively, head-to-head, the spirit and intensity and really good winner’s mentalities, only so many guys can have that.
“Definitely the overall skill level of the game has gone up, you can’t skate through too easily, you have to play to a certain standard thesedays.”
Part won his first world title at Lakeside in 1994 and appeared in a further three BDO World Championships before joining the PDC.
The BDO recently announced the World Championship was to leave Lakeside after 33 years but Part believes there may still be room for the iconic venue to host another tournament.
He added: “I think everything has to grow and change eventually. It’s a bit sad, I don’t know whether it’s a permanent thing or whether they’ll be some other event at that venue in the future?
“We look at Alexandra Palace, it was home of the News of the World Championship then it was gone for a long time and low and behold the PDC World Championship is there now.
“So there might be bigger and better things in store for the venue – who knows?”