The Local Knowlege


Former soccer star and failed politician Andriy Shevchenko to tee it up on Challenge Tour

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

Soccer player Andriy Shevchenko's move to Chelsea Football Club in the summer of 2006 was greeted with unbridled optimism. For a then-record £30.8 million, Chelsea had just bought one of the most prolific goal scorers in world soccer, people said.
What Chelsea had actually bought was one of the biggest lemons in the sport's history, and after three middling seasons in London, coupled with a few more overseas, Andriy Shevchenko, now 36, retired back to his native Ukraine where, by the looks of it, he's been busy trying to reinvent himself.

blog-sheva-480.jpgFirst came politics: After retiring abruptly in 2012 to stand for Parliament, his party garnered less than two percent of the vote and failed to win any seats. But no matter, because now he's turned his attention to golf.
The Challenge Tour extended Shevchenko, a 2 handicap, an invitation to play in this week's event hosted in Ukraine -- the first of what he hopes will be many. He's not the first professional athlete from another sport to try his hand at golf -- former tennis star Ivan Lendl and quarterback Tony Romo are just some to have tried and failed before him.

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"I have played with many good players in pro-ams but this is different," Shevchenko said at a news conference. "I hope I play well."
Shevchenko will play as an amateur, and is slated to tee off on Thursday at 12:40 p.m.