Sports

Tennis star Rafael Nadal finished sixth in a golf competition

Record-tying 20th grand slam and world No.2 tennis star Rafael Nadal finished sixth (tied) in the Balearic Golf Pro-Am Championships in Spain. The Spaniard, who was born in Mallorca, competed in the golf competition less than two weeks after clinching his 13th French Open title at Roland Garros. Nadal boasts a handicap of 0.3, came in 10 shots behind the winner after the three day tournament.

Competing alongside a mix of professionals and fellow amateurs, the Grand Slam champion stepped onto the turf and finished the 60-player event in joint sixth position. Across three rounds, the 34-year-old carded scores of 74, 74 and 77 to end the event nine over par. The results of the tournament will count towards the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

The newcomer Spaniard was able to score a top-ten finish on a Spanish professional tour, competing against players who actually do this sport for a living, like tennis in his case, rather than a side hustle. It is learnt that Nadal is a huge fan of sports other than tennis, like football where he is proclaimed a fan of Real Madrid and his country Spain. He tried his luck in golf for the first time and nailed it.

“I had the greatest opportunity playing with @RafaelNadal at the Balearics Championship @FBalearGolf at Golf Maioris,” Nadal’s compatriot and professional golfer Nuria Iturrioz said wrote on Twitter.

At the French Open earlier this month, Nadal beat world number one Novak Djokovic in a one-sided final to move level with Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slam titles. Following the golf tournament, Nadal will travel to Paris for the Rolex Paris Masters. The Paris Masters will be his penultimate tennis tournament before the ATP Finals in London.

Earlier, the Spanish government has declared Nadal will receive the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit following his Roland Garros achievement, an honor reserved for the country’s highest achievers in sport like golf great Seve Ballesteros, Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano and 2010 World Cup winners Xavi, Iker Casillas and Andres Iniesta.

Nadal will join tennis greats like Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez, who were rewarded in 2001 for their careers and Manuel Santana honored a year earlier, in receiving the prestigious feat. The announcement from the government described Nadal as “one of the best athletes in history and an example to follow” on and off the courts.