Part - Prem test for Taylor
World champion John Part told Sky Sports News that Phil Taylor's biggest test will come in Premier League Darts.
Last Updated: 09/01/08 3:34pm
World champion John Part told Sky Sports News that Phil Taylor's biggest test will come in trying to maintain his unbeaten record in the upcoming Premier League Darts season.
Experienced Canadian thrower Pat captured his third world title with success at the Alexandra Palace on New Year's Day.
Part defeated tournament success story Kirk Shepherd - a 21-year-old qualifier who took out the likes of Peter Manley and Wayne Mardle in his fairytale run to the closing match of the competition.
The usually unfussy Canadian Part played down his achievement of becoming a three-time world champion, joining the likes of Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld, along with legends John Lowe and Eric Bristow.
"Winning any tournament in this day and age is surprising as there's so many good players," Part said on Sky Sports News.
"I'm very pleased the way things worked out, it was a bit of a surprise but I think I was ready for it.
"Quietly I had a pretty good year, I had made a few semi-finals in tournaments and my level of performance was good and consistent, I forced people to play well to beat me.
"I'm always looking to try and do more, and to be fair to John Lowe to equal what he did is fantastic, but I don't think about that too much, I just concentrate on playing darts."
The recent World Darts Championship saw both reigning champion Van Barneveld and 13-time winner Taylor both fail to get beyond the quarter-finals.
It was also the first time 'The Power' had failed to reach the final since the PDC was formed 14 years ago, while he was left without a victory in the traditional major tournaments in 2007.
Many have now questioned whether it is the beginning of the end for Taylor, and Part believes that the upcoming Whyte & Mackay Premier League will provide a huge test of Taylor's powers.
The Stoke legend has never been beaten in three Premier League campaigns, but as his dominance comes under fire, Part says he will be under immense pressure to maintain that run.
"It wouldn't be for me to say," Part said when questioned if Taylor was in decline.
"But obviously things have changed, he's not winning everything like he used to. But that doesn't make him any less of a threat to win, he still wins plenty as there is still.
"The interesting thing is he's going to have a lot of pressure on is this Premier League coming up, where he's never been defeated.
"It's going to be very hard for him to keep that intact."
'Darth Maple' Part played in the inaugural Premier League three years ago but did not make the play-offs, saying he paid the price for a slow start.
"I went in the first time, which was three years ago, I didn't have a great run at it," Part added.
"I had a slow start and I probably wasn't at my best at the beginning and I paid the price for it, I almost caught up in the end but it was too late."
Part will join Taylor and van Barneveld, along with Peter Manley, Adrian Lewis, Terry Jenkins and James Wade in the 2008 Premier League.
An eighth player will be the Sky Sports wildcard and that player will be named in mid-January, before the tournament kicks off in Glasgow at the end of the month.