HE STAYED up late as a 14-year-old to watch his fellow Scot win The Masters in 1988 – then followed in his spikemarks by playing at Augusta National himself eight years later.
Now Gordon Sherry is still “living my Sandy Lyle dream” after becoming the two-times major winner’s new manager – the first client on the books of Goliath Sports Assets.
“Where do you think the name came from?” said a smiling Sherry in reference to it, having been inspired by his 6ft 8in frame. “All I need now is a David,” he added, having certainly landed a golfing Goliath to get his new venture up and running.
“The opportunity fell into my hands,” admitted the 40-year-old of Lyle, who was looking for new representation after leaving American-based Hambric Sports. “The great thing is that he’ll be able to help me as much as I can help him.
“It’s fantastic to be working with Sandy as he’s such a great guy. He was also my idol as a kid and I remember staying up to watch him win The Masters when I was 14, so I’m still living the dream by working with him now.”
Sherry was speaking during the Abu Dhabi Invitational at Yas Links, where Lyle, who starts his 2015 Champions Tour soon with back-to-back events in Florida, made an instant impression with his new manager.
The Ayrshireman said: “He’s not got a bad bone in his body and what has been interesting watching him out here is that he can’t do enough for the people he’s been playing with.
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“He was helping them with their chipping and putting and is just so unselfish.”
Since seeing his own playing career come to a premature end – he was hit by an untimely bout of glandular fever just as he turned professional – Sherry has been involved in a few ventures in golf.
His latest one has been launched on the back of advice being offered from the likes of three-times major winner Padraig Harrington – the pair were team-mates in the 1995 Walker Cup in Wales – and Sherry intends adding to his client list, though not just yet.
He said: “I’m looking to build up a stable of players but I will be doing it slowly rather than rushing into things.
“I know from personal experience that you want to be able to deliver for a player. I don’t want to go out and recruit a whole load of guys then not be able to deliver for them. There’s no point in that.
“I’ve had good advice. Padraig Harrington, for instance, has given me some great advice, as did Bob Torrance before he sadly passed away. I’m still pals with Stevie Gallacher so I’m quite lucky in that respect. I’ve got a lot of good connections who can keep me right to ensure I’m going about things the right way.”
Meanwhile, Lyle reckons the link up with Sherry has “come at just the right time for both of us”. He added: “For me it is good to have someone who has strong corporate connections rather than the focus being on equipment and stuff like that. Gordon was involved in the (ultra-exclusive) Eden Club in Fife, for example, and that has some very high-end members.
“I’ve been a little disappointed how I’ve done on the Champions Tour over the past few seasons but there’s still a little buzz about heading into a new campaign and hopefully this is the year when I can pull everything together.”
Sherry, who now lives in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, with his wife and five children, came through the amateur ranks at the same time as Gallacher and dropped back a few groups from Lyle’s on Sunday to watch the Bathgate man play a few holes in the company of Rory McIlroy.
After finishing fourth in the Scottish Open at Carnoustie in 1995, then having a hole-in-one during a practice round for the following week’s Open at St Andrews with Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, Sherry found himself being tipped for the stardom McIlroy now enjoys – only to discover that sporting dreams can be quickly shattered.
He said: “I would love to change things and turn the clock back but do I have any regrets? No.
“I’m still lucky. I’m a member at Loch Lomond and still involved in a sport that I love. For a while I didn’t enjoy playing but now I love it when I do play. I played nine holes with Sandy here on Friday and it was my first game since October. If we’d been playing for money, I might have taken a pound or two off Mr Lyle. I was level par and was delighted with that.”
Lyle, of course, remains one of the most affable sportsmen you’ll meet, which is praiseworthy given that he’s not had a fair crack of the whip in terms of the Ryder Cup captaincy.
Sherry said: “Who knows if that will ever happen now. As a golf fan and a Scot, I’m sure I’m speaking for a lot of people when I say that a lot of us would love to see that. I’m sure he’d love to do it but probably thinks he’s missed the boat.
“But you never know. Paul McGinley has just shown the importance of having the right man in charge, even though it comes down to having good players more than anything else.”