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Get well soon, Gary Evans

Gary Evans admitted his European Tour career might be over as he prepared for keyhole surgery on his right shoulder this week.

The 35-year-old Englishman, one of the star performers at the last three Open Championships, faces at least six months away from the game after playing a restricted schedule this season.

Even though he has secured his 2005 European Tour card by winning almost Euro270,000 in 19 starts, Evans has been forced to combat the injury with a cortisone injection and a relentless diet of painkillers.

The injury, a bone growth inflaming ligaments and other soft tissues around the shoulder joint, eventually forced Evans to call a halt to his 2004 campaign at the Nissan Irish Open in July.

“It just got too painful and I was in danger of doing myself permanent damage,” said Dubai-based Evans. “The operation will clean out all the fragments in the joint and if all goes well I should start swinging a club again in about three months.

“My consultants reckon I’ll return to the Tour at the Dubai Desert Classic in March. But I’ve got to brace myself mentally for the possibility that the operation won’t go according to plan and that I might be looking for something else to do with my life.

“I can still make a huge contribution to the game even if by some misfortune this is the end of the road for me as a player.”

As Evans recovers, one project to occupy his attention will be the new set of Olyo irons he’s helping to design and hopes to play with on Tour next year. “We’re nearly there with the clubs now and need to make only one or two tweaks. It’s my mission to produce equipment of top-of-the-range quality at an affordable price.”

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