Former world tennis No 1 Kafelnikov set for second stab at European Tour golf
16:14 GMT, 24 July 2012
Former tennis great Yevgeny Kafelnikov is back on the European Tour in Austria, four years after discovering just how much he has to learn as a golfer.
The 38-year-old, winner of the French and Australian Opens during a career that saw him dethrone Pete Sampras as world No 1 in 1999 and earn nearly 15million, plays his second Tour event at the Lyoness Open in Atzenbrugg.
His debut came in the 2008 Russian Open, but rounds of 89 and 80 meant he missed the halfway cut by 27, although there was one player 15 shots worse than that – amateur Alexey Kovalev had rounds of 99 and 85.
In the swing: Yevgeny Kafelnikov show his prowess with a golf club
A more familiar sight: The Russian in action during his tennis heyday
Bad though that looked, it was nevertheless better than Kafelnikov's first appearance on the second tier Challenge Tour. That was in Moscow in 2005 and he was dead last on 40 over par with scores of 88 and 96.
Last man to win the men's singles and doubles titles at the same grand slam tournament – the 1996 French Open – he is paired with Welsh World Cup winner Stephen Dodd and Swede Oskar Henningsson in the opening two rounds.
The field also includes last year's French Open champion Thomas Levet and new Austrian star Bernd Wiesberger. He lifted the Ballantine's Championship in Korea in April and as a result of that will make his World Golf Championship debut in Akron next week.
Joakim Haeggman, first Swede to play in the Ryder Cup, and compatriot Niclas Fasth, runner-up to David Duval in Lytham's penultimate staging of The Open in 2001, are part of the line-up as well.