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World of golf backs legend Seve

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Archive - Seve career retrospective

Stars of golf have rushed to offer support to legend Seve Ballesteros, 51, after the five-time major winner was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Fellow Spanish golfers Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez have wished Ballesteros a speedy recovery.

Olazabal, who visited Ballesteros in hospital, said: "I thought Seve seemed very well. We were talking for a good while. I wish him a speedy recovery."

Jimenez said: "Seve, we love you. We hope you recover as soon as possible."

Ballesteros won 87 titles during his career, including the Open in 1979, 1984 and 1988 and the Masters in 1980 and 1983.

He played an inspirational role in the Ryder Cup, playing in eight competitions from 1979 to 1995, winning 20 points from 37 matches. He then captained Europe to victory at the Spanish course of Valderrama in 1997.

Ballesteros launched the Seve Trophy in 2000, a Ryder Cup-style match between teams from Great Britain and Ireland and Continental Europe. In 2007 Ballesteros retired from golf following arthritic back and knee problems late in his career.

I think the Ryder Cup owes a lot of what it is now to Seve

European Tour Spanish press officer Maria Acacia

Sam Torrance, a contemporary of Ballesteros on the European Tour and a former European Ryder Cup captain, said: "It's tragic news, he's one of the best-ever players.

"I have many fond memories of playing with him and against him. I was on tour before he started and I was on tour after he finished, so I was a witness to his glorious career. I hope he gets better."

European Tour Spanish press officer Maria Acacia has been a confidante to two generations of Spanish players over the past two decades and feels Ballesteros is one of the most influential golfers ever.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I think Seve has not only made a huge contribution to golf in Spain, but also the whole of Europe.

"I remember the first years of Seve's career in the late 70s, he came up from nowhere and golf was nothing in Spain.


"The European Tour was only starting to take off and Seve changed the whole thing from A to Z.

"He was playing a new kind of golf, because he was so exciting. He had the biggest galleries following him - he had so much charisma and he was a very big personality.

"He also changed the Ryder Cup - I think the Ryder Cup owes a lot of what it is now to Seve."

see also
Jacklin on Ballesteros
17 Jul 07 |  Golf
Seve's career in photos
16 Jul 07 |  Golf

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