Stephen Bunting: BDO world champion switches to rival circuit

Stephen Bunting

British Darts Organisation world champion Stephen Bunting has switched to the rival Professional Darts Corporation by accepting a tour card.

Bunting won his first BDO world title at the Lakeside earlier this month by beating Alan Norris 7-4 in the final.

"It's been an absolutely massive decision for me to make and a very difficult one," the 28-year-old said.

The four BDO semi-finalists all automatically receive a tour card invitation from the PDC.

Norris, Jan Dekker and Robbie Green all turned down their offers, but former BDO champion Christian Kist, who was beaten in the first round this year by James Wilson, has been attempting to switch allegiances.

Bunting, from St Helens, has enjoyed a successful season, winning the World Masters for a second successive year in October as well as six other Open events to move to the top of the BDO rankings.

He will now be able to take on the likes of Michael van Gerwen and 16-time world champions Phil Taylor on the PDC's £7m circuit, and will make his debut in next month's UK Open Qualifiers in Wigan.

"I've loved my time in the BDO. I've won everything I can in the BDO now and was just looking for a new challenge. If I was going to join the PDC, the best time to do it was as world champion," he added.

"I'm really looking forward to the new challenge and let's see what I can do against the big boys."

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