M2M RUSSIAN OPEN
The M2M Russian Open contains one of the weakest European Tour fields of the season but it does boast a multiple major champion and former world No.1 – of tennis!
Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who won the 1996 French Open and 1999 Australian Open, turned his attention to professional golf shortly after retiring from tennis in 2003, and missed the cut in his Russian Open debut in 2005 with rounds of 88 and 96 to finish 40-over-par.
Things have got marginally better for Kafelnikov since, although the 41-year-old – who also achieved four grand slam doubles titles, the Davis Cup and an Olympic gold medal in Sydney in a glittering career on the courts – has never made a cut in the 24 events he has played across both the European and Challenge Tours.
In fact, he hasn’t even broken par. His best round on the European Tour is a 75 at the Lyoness Open in 2012, while he went one better on the Challenge Tour in round two of the Finnish Challenge in the same year.
So in round one of the Russian Open, Kafelnikov’s six-over-par 77 seemed pretty good in the grand scheme of things, considering he’s only bettered that score three times in 48 previous rounds.
And of those 48 rounds, only 14 were below 80, with the former world No.1 tennis star’s best finish at a tournament placing 97th at the 2010 Russian Challenge Cup after rounds of 80 and 81.
Still, Kafelnikov, who dreams of representing his nation at golf in the Olympics next summer, has a lot of work to do on Friday to make it to the weekend.