Severiano Ballesteros pictured in 1979. He died on 7th. May 2011 at 2.11 am aged 54.
From October 2008 he had been treated for a malignant brain tumour.
He won 50 European Tour events between 1976 and 1995.
Biography : the 1970s. A young Seve catches the eye and wins his first major.
Severiano Ballesteros turned professional at the tender age of 16 in
1974 and it was not long before he was catching the eye with some
dazzling performances. His first tournament victory came in 1976 at the
Dutch Open and the precocious teenager followed that up by winning the
Lancome Trophy. By the end of the season Ballesteros was the leading
European money winner ahead of the likes of Eamonn Darcy,Sam Torrance
and fellow countryman Manuel Pinero with a total of £39,503. Ballesteros
captured the imagination with a stunning performance in the 1976 Open
at Birkdale where,at just 19 years of age,he finished joint second with
the legendary Jack Nicklaus behind Johnny Miller - Seve had truly
He remained on top of the money lists for the next two seasons
with victories at the French Open,Uniroyal International and Swiss Open
in 1977 and at the Martini International,German
International,Scandinavian Open and Swiss Open in 1978. The experts were
predicting that it would not be long before Seve collected his first
major and in 1979 they were proved right. The handsome young man from
Pedrena in Northern Spain was the only player under par in difficult
conditions at Royal Lytham & St.Annes and his one under total was
sufficient to give him victory by three strokes from Jack Nicklaus and
Ben Crenshaw. Seve's wayward driving was more than made up for with his
quite brilliant recovery shots as he saved par time and time again,even
making birdie at the 16th after he had driven into a car park!
Ballesteros made his Ryder Cup debut later that year but it was not a
happy memory as the European team went down to a 17-11 defeat with Seve
being defeated four times by the leading American player Larry Nelson.
The picture above of Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros was taken on 6th. September 1984
by George Herringshaw.
1980-85. Majors numbers 2, 3 and 4.
Seve started the new decade in quite brilliant fashion with a four
stroke victory from Gibby Gilbert and Jack Newton at the 1980 Masters
tournament. He carded 66,69 and 68 in the first three rounds and held a
seven stroke lead going into the final day. At one stage that lead had
been increased to a massive ten shots before some sloppy play between
the 11th to 13th holes allowed his rivals to reduce the deficit. Seve
was not to be denied however and at 23 he became the then youngest
winner of the much fabled Green Jacket as well as becoming the first
ever European winner. That first success at Augusta gave the exciting
youngster the taste for more and after a third place finish in 1982
behind Craig Stadler and Dan Pohl he was back to winning ways in '83
with a four stroke triumph from Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite. Ballesteros
also finished sixth in the Open,fourth in the U.S. Open and only Nick
Faldo headed him in the European Order of Merit.
To top off a memorable
year Seve performed superbly in the Ryder Cup as the Europeans came so
close to beating the Americans on their own soil. He and youngster Paul
Way scored two wins and a half in their four matches and Seve then
fought back to earn a half against Fuzzy Zoeller in the singles. The
home team were not to be denied,however,and clung on for the narrowest
of wins at 14 1/2-13 1/2. Ballesteros was champion once more in the '84
Open at St. Andrews where his twelve under par total gave him a two
stroke victory from Tom Watson and Bernhard Langer. Seve and Watson were
neck and neck going up the famous 17th Road Hole but a poor approach
shot from the American saw him make bogey and a birdie at the last from
the Spaniard secured a thrilling triumph. (David Scranage).
The image of Severiano Ballesteros was taken at the 1986 Open by George Herringshaw. ©
1986-89. Teams up with Olazabal, wins third Open.
The 1985 Masters saw Seve so close to making it a third Green Jacket in
five years but it was not to be as Germany's Bernhard Langer held on for
a two stroke winning margin at six under par. Ballesteros also managed a
fifth place finish in the US Open and later that year he was a member
of the European team that was finally victorious in the Ryder Cup with a
comfortable 16 1/2-11 1/2 triumph at the Belfry. The next couple of
years brought frustration in the majors as Seve went close time and time
again. He finished fourth in '86 and second in '87 at the Masters,sixth
in '86 at the Open and also managed his best ever finish of third in
the U.S. Open of 1987.
He did, however, have the consolation of topping
the European Order of Merit once again in the 1986 season with a total
of £242,208. By the time that the 1987 Ryder Cup came round another
exciting young Spaniard had arrived on the scene; Jose-Maria Olazabal.
Ballesteros teamed up with his 21 year old compatriot to stunning
effect,the pair gaining three points from a possible four and then in a
fitting finale Seve conjured up a 2&1 win against Curtis Strange to
secure a first ever European victory on American soil by 15 points to
13. In 1988 the charismatic caballero thrilled the galleries at Royal
Lytham & St. Annes once again by lifting his third claret jug,this
of course was the venue where it had all begun nine years earlier. The
Spaniard fired a magical final round 65 to come from behind against
Zimbabwean Nick Price,his total of eleven under par giving him a two
shot victory. (David Scranage)