November 18, 2010 / 2:39 PM / 9 years ago

SAC Capital's golf pro has got game

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sam Evans is no weekend hacker.

As a member of a half-dozen exclusive golf courses, SAC Capital Advisors’ unofficial golf pro probably does not have a hard time scheduling his tee times.

And a review of the last 20 scores Evans reported this season to a popular U.S. website used by some 2 million amateur golfers reveals he’s a pretty fair player.

The scores submitted by the 49-year-old Evans are consistently in the low 80s — and that’s from playing elite courses like Shinnecock Hills in Long Island and the Merion Golf Club in suburban Pennsylvania.

Joseph Parent, a PGA instructor who has advised the professional golfer Vijay Singh, said Evans’ 7-stroke handicap makes him “well better than the average golfer.”

Mac Powell, dean of the National University Golf Academy, says what really stands out about Evans, more than his scores, is that he is getting to take swings on some of the most exclusive courses in the mid-Atlantic region. Only a “minuscule” segment of the population play such links.

“If you’re a president or CEO, you might have access,” said Powell. “Otherwise, the rest of us will not likely ever step foot on any of these, except maybe as spectators to the U.S. Open.”

According to scores reported to the U.S. Golf Association’s Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) website, Evans’ scores at National Golf Links of America on Long Island, a course he frequently plays, ranged from 78 to 84.

But at historic Merion, where Ben Hogan famously won the 1950 U.S. Open after a car accident, Evans had an off-day. In his first round, he shot an 86, his second worst score all summer. That may have spooked him since he hasn’t posted a score since at the course, which will host the 2013 U.S. Open.

Evans used to have more of his scores posted publicly on the GHIN website, but since October several of his scores have disappeared. Kevin O’Connor, senior director of the handicapping service, said scores can be deleted if a person has left a registered club or if he asked for his scores to be deleted for privacy reasons.

Privacy concerns would fit with Evans’ persona. A Google search uncovers just a smattering of news stories, including a 1995 announcement in The New York Times of his marriage to Anna Brady and another noting that he was named as one of Wall Street’s top institutional salesmen by Reuters in 2000.

But David Merkow, assistant golf coach at Marquette University, said the disappearing score is curious “because in the golf community, people try very hard to be open and honest about the scores that they shoot.”

Reported by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Matthew Goldstein and Claudia Parsons

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