The Quickie

A bite-sized look at this week's news…

Ballesteros: Golfing Hero

Posted by jenz30 on October 28, 2008

News of Seve Ballesteros’ condition, as he lies gravely ill in hospital, has touched the hearts of golfing fans worldwide.

Without doubt, he is the most historically significant European player of the last 50 years, winning a record 50 European Tour events and five major championships.

The true ‘special one’

What makes him so remarkable is that he seems to have been blessed with true genius.

For Ballesteros, who hails from Pedrena on Spain’s northern coast, golf has never been about technique and consistency. He was an artist on the green with a true ‘feel’ for golf and great shots.

Confirmation of Ballesteros’ skill comes from probably the best golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus, who describes Seve’s 230-yard 3-wood from under the lip of a fairway bunker on the 18th hole at PGA National in Florida during the 1983 Ryder Cup as the best shot he has ever seen.

Admiration also comes from the US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy who witnessed Seve’s magical chip shot at Royal Lytham, which placed him perfectly on the green so as to lead him to his third sucessive victory.

But perhaps it is his success in the Ryder Cup that marks him out from the rest. It was his unshakeable confidence that led the Europeans to believe that they could and would beat the Americans.

“Seve was unbeleievable,” says Sam Torrance, eight times a Ryder Cup player speaking to Scotland on Sunday. “He was always there when you needed a boost, always there when you needed help with your game. He always seemed to put the team first, which was remarkable, as he was the world’s No.1 player. Of course, he didn’t much like the Americans. He really wanted to win.”

Inner Strength

Worldwide players and fans alike are hoping that this desire to suceed at all he puts his mind to will pull through this difficult period.

Seve himself has vowed to carry on fighting, “Throughout my career I’ve been one of the best at overcoming obstacles on the golf course. Now I want to be the best confronting the most difficult game of my life, with all my strength as well as with the help of all those whose messages of support are reaching me.”

After all, this is a man who has revitalised European golf at tour level, in the Ryder Cup and in the majors as well as insipiring a generation of young golfers with his unique style. If anyone can overcome a brain tumour, it’s him.

Jennifer Willis-Jones (

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