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Seve Ballesteros handed BBC Lifetime Achievement award

Seve Ballesteros

Seve honoured at Sports Personality

Golf legend Seve Ballesteros has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award at Sunday's BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The 52-year-old Spaniard, who won five majors in an illustrious career, has been given the award in recognition of his contribution to the sport.

He won the Open three times, the Masters twice as well as playing an inspirational role in the Ryder Cup.

Ballesteros is recovering from a brain tumour that required four operations.

He was presented with the award at his home in Spain by his friend, compatriot and former Ryder Cup team-mate Jose Maria Olazabal.

Ballesteros turned professional in 1974 at the age of 16 and made a huge impact two years later by finishing second in the Open alongside Jack Nicklaus at Royal Birkdale, and winning the first of his six Order of Merit titles.

Seve Ballesteros

Archive - Seve career retrospective

A first major title came at the 1979 Open, a tournament he would also win in 1984 and 1988, and he also took the Masters Green Jacket in 1980 and 1983.

Beyond the victories, Ballesteros was arguably the driving force behind the transformation of European golf into a serious rival for the game in the United States.

He played a leading role in Europe's breakthrough Ryder Cup victory in 1985 to begin two decades of dominance.

And Ballesteros fulfilled a lifelong ambition when he captained the Europeans to victory over the US in Spain in 1997.

After a total of 87 tournament wins, he retired from golf in 2007 following arthritic back and knee problems late in his career.


Ballesteros was diagnosed with a brain tumour after briefly losing consciousness at Madrid Airport on 6 October, 2008.

He has since undergone four operations on the brain to remove the tumour and to reduce swelling in his skull and has lost most of the sight in his left eye.

Ballesteros said earlier this year that "this is the biggest battle of my life, this is the sixth major".

He is planning a farewell appearance for British fans at the Open next year at St Andrews, the venue where he won the second of his three Claret Jugs in 1984.

see also
Giggs wins 2009 BBC Sports Personality award
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality of the Year pictures
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
BBC Sports Personality as it happened
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
Bolt claims Overseas award again
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
Capello handed BBC Coach honour
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
Ashes heroes land BBC team honour
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
Daley wins second Young BBC award
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
Swimming teacher wins Unsung Hero
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
Major wins Helen Rollason award
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
Izzard handed BBC special award
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality
BBC build-up to Sports Personality
29 Oct 09 |  Sports Personality
Seve's career in photos
16 Jul 07 |  Golf
Ballesteros plans 2010 Open spot
24 Jul 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros battles brain tumour
12 Oct 08 |  Golf
Ballesteros ends dazzling career
16 Jul 07 |  Golf

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