Saturday, May 7, 2011

Seve Ballesteros - Spanish Golf Legend

From Wikipedia.

Severiano Ballesteros Sota, who died after a long battle with cancer on May 7, 2011, will always be remembered as Spain's greatest golf icon.

A World No. 1 who was one of the sport's leading figures from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, he gained attention in the golfing world in 1976, when at 19 he finished second at The Open Championship.

A member of a gifted golfing family, Ballesteros won five major championships between 1979 and 1988, The Open Championship three times, and The Masters twice.

He was also successful in the Ryder Cup, helping the European team to five wins both as a player and captain, and won the World Match Play Championship a record-tying five times.

He is best known for his great short game, and his erratic driving of the golf ball.

Ballesteros was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for the second time at the BBC Sports Personality Awards 2009.

Ballesteros was born in Pedrena, Cantabria, Spain.

He learned the game while playing on the beaches near his home, mainly using a 3-iron given to him by one of his elder brothers.

His uncle Ramon Sota was Spanish professional champion four times and finished sixth in The Masters in 1965.

Seve's elder brother Manuel finished in the top 100 on the European Tour order of merit every year from 1972 to 1983, and later became Seve's manager.

Brothers Vicente and Baldomero, and nephew Raul are also professional golfers.

Ballesteros turned professional in March 1974 at the age of 16.

In 1999, Ballesteros was inducted into the World Golf Hall Of Fame.

He was instrumental in introducing the Seve Trophy in 2000, a team competition similar to the Ryder Cup pitting a team from Great Britain and Ireland against one from continental Europe.

In 2000, Ballesteros was ranked as the 16th greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine. He was the top golfer from the continent of Europe.

Ballesteros was married to Carmen Botin O'Shea, daughter of Emilio Botin, from 1988 until their divorce in 2004.

They have three children.