Gary Evans is retiring from golf and many may not even notice his leaving. And yet he has come so close to true golfing greatness. Very close.
In the 2002 Open at Muirfield he missed the play-off by a single shot.
But now it’s all over and he’s walking away from a game that has been kind and yet very cruel to him.
He has been plagued by injury all of his professional career and has won just £60,000 in the last two years. When you take into account his caddy costs and travelling expenses, he’s undoubtedly been losing money!
But he feels it’s time to walk away after 15 years.
“Things are changing... when I started, you might wonder down to the bar at about seven in the evening, meet five or six players at the bar, have a couple of beers with them, go out to dinner and then have a couple of nightcaps, before bed.
“It’s still a friendly atmosphere, but there are less personalities now than in the early ‘90s when I started out and I think that’s sad. There are certainly less people who are prepared to open their mouths and say what they think.
“In golf you sacrifice a lot. You miss family stuff. You miss your kids birthdays. You miss weddings. You miss friends. And your whole life revolves around the tour.”
“I think a golfer’s life is especially tough. You look at footballers. It really winds me up when they go on about how tired they are. They have it so easy.
“They train a couple of hours a week, and sometimes two games a week. There’s no pressure like there is for golfers. You are going to get paid whatever happens, even if you sit on the bench.”
And so Gary Evans leaves the game. He may never quite have won a Major and he never quite reached the dizzy heights, but he’s certainly added some colour and straight talking!