Seve Ballesteros

May 7, 2011 by staff 

Seve BallesterosSeve Ballesteros, Tributes poured in from around the world Saturday after a five time winner of the great Seve Ballesteros has died after a battle with brain cancer, the players moved to tears by the passage of Spanish golf bet that transformed European and Ryder Cup.

Ballesteros died a day after suffering a serious deterioration in his recovery from several surgeries to remove a malignant brain tumor in 2008. He was 54.

Headlines such as “The Inventor of Spanish golf” and “Life of a Legend” is splashed across media Web sites as fellow Spanish golfers, athletes and personalities from around the world pays tribute to one of the most charismatic figures the game has ever seen.

George O’Grady, European Tour executive director, said Ballesteros was the inspiration behind the tour.

“This is a very sad day for all golfers,” said O’Grady on the website tour.

“Legacy of Seve only should be the inspiration that has given many to see, support, and playing golf, and, finally, to fight a cruel disease with a hint of equality, passion and fierce determination. We have all been very fortunate to live in his time. It was the inspiration behind the European tour. ”

The Spanish Open – Ballesteros site European Tour record 50 th and final victory in 1995 – intended to honor Ballesteros with a minute of silence during the third round on Saturday, where former Ryder Cup partner Jose Maria Olazabal broke down in tears while practicing before your departure time.

“I’m going to play because it is the highest honor that can give Seve,” said Olazabal, who teamed with Ballesteros to form one of the largest associations of the Ryder Cup. “He had wanted the tournament to move forward.”

Olazabal, twice a Masters champion, paid tribute to Ballesteros for his “strength, his fighting spirit and passion for everything he did.” He said he last met on 16 April Ballesteros.

“He was ill but was alert,” said Olazabal. “We talked about a lot of things and the memories of the Ryder Cup. The best tribute we can pay to continue playing, but do not think any of the tributes that we will never be sufficient enough after all he has done for golf.

Ballesteros funeral will be held on Wednesday Pedre? A, their homeland in northern Spain, with family and close friends attended the posterior root. Three days of official mourning will be held in northern Spain, according to the regional government chief Miguel Angel Revilla.

Spanish Golf Federation President Gonzaga Escauriaza said Ballesteros was an “icon” of Spanish golf that transformed the sport.

“Severiano Ballesteros was a unique, unrepeatable,” said Escauriaza. “We must recognize that we are where we are now, golf is a popular sport in large part … Severiano Ballesteros. We all owe him a lot.”

World No. 1 Lee Westwood wrote on Twitter: “It’s a sad day. Retrieve a source of inspiration, genius; roll model, hero and friend. Seve was European golf what it is today. Seve RIP.”

The three-time major winner Nick Price said Ballesteros was “light years” after seeing it for the first time when they were both 21 years, calling it a “fascinating” time.

The pair dueled in the 1988 British Open, with Ballesteros recovering from a two-stroke deficit to beat Price by two shots with a final round 65 for his last great victory.

“He did for European golf what Tiger Woods did for golf worldwide. The European Tour would not be where it is today if not for Seve Ballesteros,” said Price, whose brother died the same problem last year, a Champions Tour event in Alabama. “Your loyalty to the European tour was wonderful. The boy, who was an icon, just an incredible player.”

Hours before death Ballesteros, English golfer Paul Casey fought back tears after her round at the Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour.

“He really paved the way for the Europeans,” said Casey, who was clearly angry after his round at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina “not only in the Ryder Cup, but also on the PGA Tour the way we played in Augusta and his victories over here. We have a huge amount for him. ”

Fanny Sunesson, the former caddy for Nick Faldo during some of those Ryder Cups, was asked his memories and began to mourn. “The tears say it all” he said.

Phil Mickelson honor Ballesteros, a Spanish dish served at the Champions Dinner at the Masters this year. Mickelson recalled his first PGA Tour event in adolescence and the thrill of playing a practice round with Ballesteros.

“Since that day, could not have been better for me,” Mickelson said. “He showed me a couple of things, taught me a few pictures, and since then we have had a good relationship. … Because of the way in which the rules of the game, they were attracted by it.”

Tom Lehman, the 1996 British Open champion, Ballesteros thanked kindly.

“He always treated me very well. He was always kind to me,” said Lehman. “This competitive, so I always appreciated that he took the time to say something nice. As a competitor, who did not do that, but it did.”

He also marveled at the attitude of the Spanish.

“I think his body language was the strongest of anyone, save perhaps Tigre in recent years,” added Lehman. “I always said that his body language said, ‘Hey, I may have hit a shot on the spot a mess, but if you miss this next shot will miss most ever hit.” That’s just the way you walk, the way he acted, the way it was done. He never seemed to doubt his ability ever. That’s what makes a champion. ”

The four-time Grand Slam champion tennis Manolo Santana, the most famous athlete in Spain before the outbreak of Ballesteros on the sports scene, said the farmer’s son did for golf what he did for tennis.

“Seve was a tremendous sporting export to our country with their victories around the world,” said Santana. “Seve was an amazing person.”

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