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Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Ballesteros handed R&A accolade

Seve Ballesteros
Ballesteros won 50 tournaments on the European Tour alone

Golfing great Seve Ballesteros has been given honorary membership of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews.

The 52-year-old, who overcame a brain tumour that required four operations, is synonymous with the Old Course, having won The Open there in 1984.

He plans to return to the home of golf in 2010 when The Open Championship celebrates its 150th anniversary.

"I am greatly honoured," he said. "St Andrews and the town will always retain a very special place in my heart."

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

In addition to the extensive surgery to remove the tumour and reduce swelling in his skull he has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy.

Earlier this year, he launched the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, an organisation which aims to aid research into cancer, particularly brain tumours.

Archive - Seve career retrospective

The legendary Spaniard won three Open titles between 1979 and 1988 and captured the coveted US Masters at Augusta twice in 1980 and 1983.

Reflecting on his illness he said: "Patience has never been my strongest point and to spend 22 days in intensive care and 72 days in one room you need tremendous patience.

"There were times when it was tough but when things are going wrong you have to think positive. In my life I have a lot of good things to think about in a positive way and that's what I was doing."

Looking ahead to St Andrews next year he added: "I sincerely hope that I will be able to come back and be part of the 150th anniversary."

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see also
Inside Sport: When Alliss met Seve
15 Oct 09 |  Inside Sport
Ballesteros plans 2010 Open spot
24 Jul 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros savours second chance
25 Jun 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros needs more treatment
26 Mar 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros surgery a 'success'
24 Oct 08 |  Golf
Ballesteros battles brain tumour
12 Oct 08 |  Golf
Seve's career in photos
16 Jul 07 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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