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Ballesteros set for emotional St Andrews return


Seve Ballesteros speaking to BBC's Inside Sport in October 2009

Seve Ballesteros may make an emotional return to St Andrews for the Open's 150th anniversary celebrations in July.

The 52-year-old Spaniard is among 32 former champions invited to play four holes on the eve of the Championship.

The five-times major winner has undergone four operations since being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008.

Spanish Golf Federation president Gonzaga Escauriaza said: "Seve wants to be on the first tee for the four-hole tournament and will probably be there."

Other legendary Open winners, including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Nick Faldo, are also scheduled to play the special competition over the first, second, 17th and 18th holes on the Old Course on 14 July.

Ballesteros won the second of his three Opens at St Andrews in 1984 and Escauriaza believes he is feeling well enough to return for the commemorative event in what would be his farewell appearance in front of British fans on the iconic Scottish course.

"Seve is doing much better," Escauriaza said.

It will be very emotional for a lot of people and for Seve too

Gonzaga Escauriaza

"He was doing very well last summer when he started playing again but then he went through radiotherapy and chemotherapy. That weakened him a bit but now he's started to get better and better.

"He will be very happy to be there and I've met his son and he said he wants to caddie for him."

Escauriaza added: "All his family are very motivated for him to come back to the game.

"It will be very emotional for a lot of people and for Seve too because of course he won at St Andrews in 1984.

"He has started to practice again and is able to play some holes especially as his home is right near to a course."

Ballesteros lifted the Claret Jug in 1984, finishing two strokes clear of Bernhard Langer and Tom Watson.

He also triumphed at the 1979 and 1988 events, both at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Ballesteros won the Masters in 1980 and 1983 in an illustrious career that resulted in him notching up more than 90 tournament wins.

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see also
Ballesteros plans 2010 Open spot
24 Jul 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros savours second chance
25 Jun 09 |  Golf
Seve receives BBC lifetime award
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
Ballesteros upbeat over recovery
21 Jan 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros wants captaincy role
07 Jan 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros starts chemotherapy
19 Dec 08 |  Golf
Ballesteros returns home after op
09 Dec 08 |  Golf
Ballesteros leaves intensive care
18 Nov 08 |  Golf
Ballesteros surgery a 'success'
24 Oct 08 |  Golf
World of golf backs legend Seve
13 Oct 08 |  Golf
Wishing Seve well
20 Oct 08 |  Golf
Ballesteros battles brain tumour
12 Oct 08 |  Golf
Seve's career in photos
16 Jul 07 |  Golf
Ballesteros ends dazzling career
16 Jul 07 |  Golf

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