Turning your back on the game you love is not easy, but at the end of last season Knut Borsheim took the tough – if lucrative – decision to hang up his clubs at the tender age of 26 and enter the world of stockbroking.
This week Borsheim has come out of retirement to tee up in the Norwegian Challenge, but even in the unlikely event that he were to win the €175,000 event, he would not consider returning to the competitive circuit.
“I’m very happy with the decision I made,” he said. “I love playing for fun now and even though I’ve really enjoyed catching up with some old faces this week, it’s only a one-off. I’ll be back to the day job on Monday morning.”
Borsheim burst onto the scene with a runner-up finish behind the eventual Rankings winner Tommy Fleetwood in the 2011 Kazakhstan Open, where a closing bogey ultimately cost him the chance of lifting the trophy.
But the €44,000 cheque provided ample consolation and gained him a place in the Qualifying School Final Stage where, thanks in no small part to holes in one on consecutive days, he took the seventh card to earn elevation to The European Tour.
By his own admission, however, Borsheim struggled to adjust, not only to the step up in class but also to life on the road.
“I didn’t really enjoy the travelling side of things,” he admitted.
“I didn’t want to have a bad relationship with the sport. I still love the game now, but when it’s your job you can easily lose sight of the enjoyment and forget why you took it up in in the first place. And I didn’t want to do that.”
Thus, having failed to regain his card through either the Challenge Tour or the Qualifying School last year, Borsheim sat down and considered his options. It did not take long for him to reach a decision.
He said: “I’d always been interesting in the stock markets, so I started looking around and when I got offered a job at a bank in Oslo, I didn’t think twice. I’m glad I gave professional golf a try, because if I hadn’t I would’ve regretted it. But in the end, it wasn’t for me.”
This week’s tournament will therefore be Borsheim’s competitive swansong, and whilst he is not expecting to feature prominently on the leaderboard – “I think there’s more chance of me winning the lottery than the tournament” – he is at least hoping to reignite the competitive fires and make the cut.
He said: “This will be my last chance to play on the Challenge Tour, so I thought I’d take it. I feel really excited about teeing up and getting into the competitive mode again. I still love to compete and I do miss that side of things, but I don’t regret my decision because I’m very happy with my life.”