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Last Updated: Friday, 6 April 2007, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Ballesteros upbeat despite exit
Seve Ballesteros
Ballesteros has won five majors in a glittering career
Spanish great Seve Ballesteros improved on his opening round but ended his 2007 Masters on 22-over-par at Augusta.

The 1980 and 1983 Masters champion carded 86, 80 and was outscored by 71-year-old South African great Gary Player, who shot 83, 77 for 16 over.

Ballesteros, who will be 50 on Monday, has suffered from back and knee problems in recent years.

"It's great to be back. That was my victory, just to be back," said Ballesteros.

"There's no reason why not (to come back), this is a wonderful place, I like it and I really enjoy it."

It was just a lack of competition, it's been seven months

Seve Ballesteros

The three-time Open winner, who opted to miss the tournament between 2003 and 2006, started well enough and reached the turn in one-over 37.

But he had a disastrous back nine, which included five bogeys and one double bogey at the par-three 12th.

"Augusta has always been very tough," he said. "For a few reasons I wasn't really prepared. I didn't practise very much.

"I came early and tried to get some kind of form. I was feeling OK on Monday then I lost my confidence on Tuesday and everything went wrong.

"It was just a lack of competition, it's been seven months."

Ballesteros, who last made the cut in 1996 and whose last tour win was in 1995, is set to join the Champions Tour.

Player, meanwhile, equalled Arnold Palmer's record of 50 Masters apperances.

Two-time champion Tom Watson was set to make the cut but triple-bogeyed the last via the right bunker to end nine over.

Another former champion, 1976 winner, Raymond Floyd, ended on 13 over after rounds of 77 and 80.

Former Open winners Todd Hamilton and Ben Curtis finished 10 and 12 over respectively and ex-USPGA champion Shaun Micheel slumped to 15 over.

Ballesteros's first Masters victory opened up two decades of European domination of the event, with Sandy Lyle, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal following in his footsteps.

Olazabal's second Masters win in 1999 remains Europe's last at Augusta.



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