(Reuters) - Former European Footballer of the Year Andriy Shevchenko plunged to a 12-over-par 84 on his debut on the continent’s second-tier Challenge Tour on Thursday.
The former AC Milan and Chelsea striker, who has a handicap of two and plays left-handed, was 20 strokes behind playing partner and compatriot Victor Riu after the opening round of the Kharkov Superior Cup in their native Ukraine.
“I am not a big fan of football so I didn’t really know much about Andriy but it was great to play with him,” Riu told reporters after ending the day on top of the leaderboard at the Superior Golf and Spa Resort in Kharkov.
“There were a lot of people watching and he was great. Every time I holed a putt he shook my hand or gave me a high-five.”
Former Ukrainian international Shevchenko, 36, said he enjoyed the experience despite his poor round.
“It’s a completely different game when you are under pressure,” said the 2004 European Footballer of the Year.
Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Pritha Sarkar