Seve Ballesteros Dies

05-07-2011, 08:21 AM
Sad day for golf and Spanish sport.

Golf great Seve Ballesteros dies at 54

The 54-year-old passed away surrounded by his family at his home in Pedrena, northern Spain, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Ballesteros was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008 after losing consciousness at Madrid Airport.

The five-time major winner had four operations to remove the tumour as well as undergoing chemotherapy.

In a statement, the Ballesteros family expressed gratitude for the "support and gestures of love" it had received and asked for "respect and privacy at such a painful time."

Ballesteros, who claimed 87 titles over his career, won the Open in 1979, 1984 and 1988 and became the first European to win the Augusta Masters in 1980, repeating the feat in 1983.

He also enjoyed a successful Ryder Cup career as both player and captain - playing in eight Ryder Cups and winning 20 points from 37 matches before guiding Europe to victory over the United States as a non-playing captain at Valderrama in 1997.

But it was his daring and flamboyant style that made Ballesteros special, transforming the image of golf and bringing a whole new audience to the sport.

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter said: "No golfer did more to popularise the game in Europe than Seve Ballesteros.

"He played a fearless, exciting and charismatic brand of the game. It thrilled sport fans all over the world."

Tennis star Rafael Nadal described Ballesteros as a "reference point" for Spanish athletes.

"He's one of the greats of this country without a doubt," he said.

BBC golf commentator Peter Alliss added: "He was a fighter - feisty, skilful, cheeky and loveable.

"He had hair as black as raven's wing, a wonderful set of teeth and a lovely smile. When Seve was in a good mood the world was happy. I will always remember that smile.

"He had a very sad end but I will remember all the good things."

Ballesteros sprang to prominence as a 19-year-old, finishing second to Johnny Miller at the 1976 Open and becoming the youngest winner of the Claret Jug three years later.

His final round of 70 featured an astonishing recovery shot from a car park to set up a birdie at the 16th hole.

He became the youngest winner of the Masters at the age of 23 in 1980 and made his Ryder Cup debut later that year.

Ballesteros topped golf's world ranking for 61 weeks between 1986 and 1989 and won the World Match Play Championship five times, equalling Gary Player's record.

With his game starting to decline because of back problems, Ballesteros won the last of his record 50 European Tour titles in 1995.

And although he continued playing intermittently until 2007, he was generally a pale imitation of his former self and rarely featured on leaderboards.

Ballesteros appeared in public for the first time following the surgery in May 2009 when he went to watch his local football team Racing Santander and was given a standing ovation.

He had called his battle against the tumour the "hardest challenge of my life."

05-07-2011, 08:34 AM
Great golfer, great human being.

R.I.P. Seve

05-07-2011, 08:42 AM
R.I.P. Seve - you were an inspirational figure for European golf and will be sorely missed by millions of fans around the world.

05-07-2011, 08:52 AM
Terrible :sad: I loved him. RIP Seve :sad:

Action Jackson
05-07-2011, 09:40 AM
Great golfer and charismatic man. Glad he is not in pain anymore.

Hope they will have a minute silence respecting the memory of the man.

05-07-2011, 10:24 AM
very sad day for world sports. a true legend. he is now free from the pain and suffering.

may u Rest In Peace Seve.

05-07-2011, 10:34 AM
One of my all time idols :sad: Unreal.

Corey Feldman
05-07-2011, 11:17 AM
C U Seve

Action Jackson
05-07-2011, 11:51 AM

Tait: 10 reasons Seve is sensational

Seve Ballesteros’ impact on European golf is immeasurable. That’s why news of his worsening health has hit the European Tour so hard.

In order to try to give you an impression of his importance to the European Tour, I’ve come up with ten reasons that make him so special in European hearts.

1.) He is charismatic – Arguably no player in the game has had as much charisma as Severiano Ballesteros. Arnold Palmer comes close but it’s questionable if Palmer had that intangible animal magnetism that naturally drew people to Ballesteros. Seve could light up a room just by entering it, or simply by flashing his dazzling smile.


Seve Ballesteros in photos

A look back at the career of Spain's Seve Ballesteros

2.) He has movie Star good looks – It’s not a stretch to think that in another life Seve might have been a movie star. He certainly has the sort of good looks that made people turn their heads in his direction, especially hordes of females – golf and non-golf fans alike.

3.) He is a genius – Even today there are few players who can pull off the sort of audacious shots Seve went for in his prime. Part of his attraction was watching him hit his ball into wild places and then the fascination of how he would turn what seemed like certain disaster into a par or even a birdie.

4.) He has immense pride – Seve doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He is a proud man who believes he is as good or better than any other. That was one reason why he rose from humble beginnings to become the greatest player Europe has ever produced.

5.) He is inspirational – It’s questionable whether Spain would have produced the likes of Jose Maria Olazabal, Sergio Garcia and numerous other players if it hadn’t been for Seve. He proved that ordinary Spaniards could rise to great heights in what is essentially an elitist sport.

6.) He was a pioneer – Just as Seve inspired his countrymen, he proved to all European Tour professionals that they could break the American monopoly on the game’s greatest tournaments. He became the first European player to win the Masters when he triumphed at Augusta in 1980. That set in motion a train of European success that led to victories by Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal.

7.) He did not play second fiddle to America – Along with his pride came a strong belief that anything the Americans could do, Europe could do just as well. Seve tried to play in the United States but hated it. So he returned to Europe and spent his career making sure the European Tour became almost as strong as the American Tour.

8.) He made the Ryder Cup a success – The Ryder Cup would not be the match it is today if not for Seve Ballesteros. He turned the Ryder Cup into a personal crusade, and inspired other Europeans to believe they could beat the Americans. When Europe lost by a point in 1983, Seve chastised his team mates afterwards.

“Why do you all sit there like that?” Seve shouted. “What is the matter with you? This has been a great victory, a great, great victory. This proves we can beat them. We must celebrate.”

Belief set in by the time the celebrations stopped. No European team has taken a back seat to the United States ever since.

“That was the spark: Seve in 1983,” Nick Faldo said. “By 1985 we knew we could do it, we could win the Ryder Cup.”

9.) He encouraged young talent – More than one player has spoke of how Seve went out of his way to encourage them. Ernie Els met Seve early in his career and was surprised when Seve made a point of telling him that he had the talent to be a great player. “It meant a lot to me,” Els said.

10.) He’s made the European Tour successful – Seve made the European Tour attractive to sponsors. His career coincided with the Tour’s first years and no player did more to build up the Tour than he did. “What was needed was a star. Seve became and remained that star,” said Ken Schofield, former European Tour executive director. “He was loved wherever he went. He attracted people to him.”

European Tour players would not be playing for the huge prize money they are playing for now if not for Seve paving the way. Every European player owes Seve a huge debt of gratitude.

05-07-2011, 02:56 PM
Very very sad. A genius of the game, a true inspiration for people everywhere beyond the world of golf and a person of inmense charisma and possitive energy.

Descansa en paz, Seve.

05-07-2011, 04:09 PM

05-07-2011, 04:56 PM
It's not so much that he was a great golfer as that he was a great person. That is a bigger achievement.

05-07-2011, 08:59 PM
I'm not a golf fan but Ballesteros stuck me as a great guy. He really changed the course of European golf.

Que En Paz Descanse Seve.

05-07-2011, 11:58 PM
The fact that it was expected doesn't make this news less sad.

One of a kind, a true legend. You'll never die, Seve.



05-08-2011, 05:45 AM
One of the first Spanish sporting figures, a great guy that will be sorely missed.

Descansa en paz, Seve


05-09-2011, 03:45 AM
Sad time. European golf and Spanish sport owe a lot to Seve.