May 19, 2022

Storylines abound at the BTS but none are as impressive as Kevin Esteve’s journey to Phuket. 

By Kent Gray
Kevin Esteve dreams of marching into an Olympic Games stadium again but hopes next time will be in summer attire with his golf clubs temporarily on ice back in the athlete’s village rather than skis. 
The 32-year-old has represented the Principality of Andorra at two winter Olympiads and scaled as high as sixth in the combined downhill at the 2011 World Championships in Garmisch. 
But after the devastation of breaking his knee on the eve of the combined downhill, his key focus at Sochi 2014, Esteve swapped the world’s slipperiest slopes for the life of a touring pro. 
"I've always say skiing is my life but it’s not my passion. Golf is my passion."
Despite missing three of four cuts during the quickfire Beautiful Thailand Swing over the last 18 days, Esteve is loving the challenge of pro golf, not to mention the fairer climes that came standard during the Phuket events co-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
While he is in the fortunate but hard-earned (think multiple broken bones) position of being financially secure courtesy of his skiing successes, it has still been a relief to get back in the saddle after losing the best part of two and a half years to the pandemic.
"The best thing of the Beautiful Thailand Swing with the MENA Tour, ADT, like four events in a row, it’s rare,” said Esteve. 
“I love to compete and to have all of these tournaments in a row is very interesting because you can play, practice, play, practice and you have the feedback of the last tournament. When you do one tournament and you have to wait 10 days until the next one, it is different. Here you stay at the same place, same conditions and that’s a very good opportunity so thank you to the MENA Tour and the ADT.”
The missed cuts, either side of a more encouraging T-13 finish at the Blue Canyon Classic, highlight the, ahem, mountain Esteve has to climb to reach his Olympic goal.
Indeed, Andorra’s only world-ranked golfer at no.1391 in the latest OWGR has a long way to go before he’ll come close to making the 60-man Olympic golf field even with its country participation limits. 
But Esteve is no ordinary athlete and his ability to perform at the highest levels of alpine skiing, and to fight back from some horrendous injuries, shows he has the mental fortitude to give it a decent whack. 
"Now I am 32 years old so I started really late in golf, it is something age cannot give me but the good thing of this sport is it is a long term sport. In alpine skiing at 35-years-old, you are done so golf gives you opportunities to perform later,” Esteve said.
"I don’t have a date, an age [to achieve his goals]. I’ll hopefully play for a lot of years because if I can play on the senior tour and everything…I cannot stop playing. I’ll play as long as I can.
"Of course, skiing gave me things that golf cannot do it but I'll stay with golf. I love golf.”