Harry Ward has announced a shock decision to step away from the PDC circuit at the end of the 2020 season.
Ward, 21, secured a Tour Card at Qualifying School in January 2019 and went on to win a Players Championship title just four months later.
He made his World Championship debut at Alexandra Palace last December, defeating Madars Razma in Round One before losing out to Simon Whitlock in the Last 64.
The Swadlincote star has climbed to 62nd on the Main Order of Merit and came through the qualifying rounds last week to earn a debut appearance in the upcoming World Series Finals in Salzburg.
However, Ward released a statement on Tuesday morning announcing his intention to resign his Tour Card regardless of his position at the end of the campaign.
Ward said: ‘I have taken this decision very seriously and taken advice from my friends, family and management.
‘The pandemic and being with my family these past few months have made me realise I do not have the hunger or desire to be a professional darts player at the very top level.
‘Seeing players like Daryl [Gurney] and other players within MDA and the effort it takes the travelling involved with the tour has made my decision a tough one, but on the other hand an easy one.
‘I’m still very young and I will never say never to a return in the future and winning a ProTour and playing at the Worlds was a great high and I will treasure the memories for a long time.
‘To the PDC, thank you for giving me the opportunity to play at the highest level and opportunities to play on TV to a large audience.
‘To my sponsors, thank you for the support, to Matt and Clifton thanks for the backing and belief and to my fans, I’ll be trying my very best in Austria.’
Ward’s equipment sponsor Unicorn announced their sponsorship agreement would come to a close at the end of October.
His management company MDA Promotions released the following statement: ‘We would like to announce with great sadness that Harry Ward will at the end of the year turn in his PDC Tour Card.
‘Harry has spoken with us and we give him his full support with this decision and wish him the very best.
‘The World Series Finals will be a great event for Harry next week and we can’t wait to see him on the big stage once again.’
Ward’s promising career was launched with a run to the final of the 2015 BDO World Youth Championship – where he was beaten at Lakeside by Colin Roelofs.
He appeared in two UK Opens, reaching the Last 64, as well as last November’s Players Championship Finals in Minehead.
He joins Dutch youngster Mike Van Duivenbode in stepping away from the PDC tour.