Monday, 23 May 2011


t was a very sad day for golf with the news of the death of Seve Ballesteros after a long battle with cancer. Like many millions of golfers and golf fans I grew up watching the daring deeds of he swashbuckling Spanish genius on TV.

I was fortunate and privileged to play with Seve on many occasions on the European Tour. The aura and charisma he had is hard to describe, needless to say no other golfer came close. Every player would stop and watch Seve on the driving range and marvel at the imagination and skills he showed whilst just playing and hitting shots.

He was also very generous with his time always willing to help other players with their games, passing on tips and advice. I remember the first time I played with Seve I felt so nervous, like a schoolboy going to see the headmaster on his first day at school. He stood on the 1st tee swishing his driver dominating his world, the golf course. I don’t think I ever relaxed during that round but Seve was charming and so considerate helping me out as the crowds rushed to get into position to watch him, forgetting I still had shots to play.

On Seve’s passing Jack Nicklaus said: “Golf has lost a great champion and a great friend. We have also lost a great entertainer and ambassador for our sport. It was his creativity, his imagination and his desire to compete that made him so popular not only in Europe but throughout American galleries too.”

Tiger Woods said of Seve: “Seve was one of the most talented and exciting golfers to ever play the game. His creativity and inventiveness on the golf course may never be surpassed.”

Seve’s passion transcended golf and was appreciated around the world in other sports.

Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic committee said: “Seve was a man of incredible skill, charisma and courage as a sportsman, and the dignified way that he fought against the disease was characteristic of the man and was an inspiration to us all. He was a ‘once in a generation athlete’ in his sport and his influence on the game will live long after him.”

Of course we all remember Seve leading European teams in the Ryder Cup matches as well as the iconic celebration on the 18th green at St Andrews in 1984 after holing a birdie putt to win his second Open Championship. He was 16 years old when he turned professional and aged just 19 when he won the first of his 50 European Tour titles.

European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady said: “We have all been blessed to live in his era. He was the inspiration behind The European Tour.”

Severiano Ballesteros RIP

(Paul Eales, patron of Rosemere Golfers Against Cancer)

Thursday, 5 May 2011