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We were privileged to have watched Seve

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Iain Carter | 08:01 UK time, Saturday, 7 May 2011

His jaw clenched, teeth gritted, his thick dark hair pulled unruly by the teasing breeze, straw sent flying by a savage hack as the ball embarked on an improbable journey towards the green.

No one forgets the first time they saw Severiano Ballesteros play golf. That scene remains etched in my mind even though it came from one of the great Spaniard's less memorable Opens, the 1982 Championship at Royal Troon.

Nevertheless, this was a period when Seve was at the height of his powers. That year he had finished third at the Masters, the tournament he had won in 1980 to become the first European to triumph at Augusta, and at Troon he attracted vast galleries.

We all craned out necks to see the magic of Ballesteros, but in truth there wasn't much on offer, merely his famed will, which on this occasion was enough to allow him to card a rather undistinguished second-round 75.


Seve Ballesteros

Seve plays a typically daring recovery shot from deep rough at the Open

We still felt privileged to have borne witness to this round. There was an aura about the man even when things weren't quite going to plan. The ferocity of his competitive edge was there for all to see - an indomitable spirit that characterised his golf throughout his career.

There were so many defining characteristics, especially when he was in his pomp. Ballesteros brought a dashing athleticism to a game that at the time was rarely associated with such qualities.

Lost causes did not exist. If his ball was in play it could be played and his imagination and flair would rescue the most unpromising positions.

One of his legion of caddies, Billy Foster - now the bagman for another world number one Lee Westwood - delights in telling tales of trying to talk his boss out of seemingly impossible shots.

Most notable was the one at the eighteenth at Crans-sur-Sierre where a last ditch birdie blitz seemed to have come to nothing when Ballesteros put his tee shot behind the wall of a swimming pool down the right of the closing hole.

Only Seve could see a way through to the green. Foster, envisaging the probability of a pay cheque diminishing in value rapidly, pleaded with Ballesteros to play the percentages and hit out sideways. The player had no such thoughts and threaded a magical shot to the front edge of the green.

Such talent brought 87 titles - three of them Opens, two Masters - and Ballesteros radically altered the golfing landscape across the world.

He was significant enough a figure to take on the PGA Tour in the United States and at home he would feud with the European Tour to the extent that he was excluded from the 1981 Ryder Cup team.

When Tony Jacklin took over the captaincy for the match two years later his first task was to make sure Seve would be part of his European team. That job completed, Ballesteros was left to cajole his rookie partner Paul Way to claim two and half points out of four as Europe very nearly pulled off a historic victory.

That match hinted at the massive role the Spaniard would play in inspiring Europe to become the dominant Ryder Cup force. In 1987 he began his talismanic partnership with Jose Maria Olazabal and they won all bar one of their four matches together at Muirfield Village as Europe triumphed on American soil for the first time.

A year later Seve won his final major - the Open at Royal Lytham, the venue of his first major triumph in 1979. All of his trademark charisma again came to the fore in that celebrated triumph - the British crowds had long since regarded him as one of their own.

But Seve's popularity spread far and wide. He was Europe's equivalent of Arnold Palmer - both men made golf so much more sexy and appealing.

It was fitting that Phil Mickelson chose Spanish food to honour Seve's contribution to the game at the Champions' Dinner at the Masters this year.

"At 17 he was the guy I wanted to play with," Mickelson said. "I got into my first PGA Tour event, the San Diego Open, and was able to get a practice round with him.

"Here is a guy I looked up to as a kid, watched the way he played and loved the way he played and was drawn in by his charisma and he didn't let me down at all. He was every bit the gentleman I thought he was."

Long after Ballesteros had ceased to become a contender in tournaments he still competed with passion and drive, desperate to rediscover the form that had taken him to the top of the golfing world.

At times it was sad to see him struggle, but the fans never lost their affection for this great champion.

Ask me for my favourite Seve moments and I could tell you of his famous fist-pump upon winning the 1984 Open at St Andrews or holing for birdie at the 16th after playing from the car park for his first Claret Jug at Lytham five years earlier.

There are so many moments, but it is almost the ordinary ones that stick out more. I particularly remember the Benson and Hedges event at the Belfry in 2003, which was another week in the latter part of his career in which he teed off hoping, rather than expecting, not to win but just to make the cut.

Younger players, no doubt made wealthier because of the way Seve had made the game so attractive to sponsors, were dominating the leaderboard on a pretty humdrum day. Suddenly, late on, there was an explosion of applause and we heard the loudest cheers of the round.

The noise was not for the leaders. It was just that the Spanish hero had found the closing green and was making his way to the putting surface, treading wearily but flashing his brilliant smile and waving to acknowledge the adulation being sent his way.

That's how it was with Seve - an astonishing man, capable of extraordinary, historic golfing deeds but who made otherwise ordinary moments somehow magically memorable as well.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Extremely sad to hear about Seve a golfing legend. Deepest sympathy and condolences to his family. He has left a legacy to all the golfers in the world, not just to the professional players but even to the armatures and club golfers like myself. He was a 'shot making genius'. Just seeing him play on the golf course was sheer entertainment. He had so much to offer to the golfing world. However he will live in our memories in this 21st century. May God Bless him and his family. Well Done Seve!! You will continue to live in our hearts, mind and still be a great teacher to those who want to learn to play like him.

  • Comment number 2.

    My sympathies to Seve's family and friends. may he rest in peace and live in the hearts of his family, friends and fans forever.

  • Comment number 3.

    A true legend in the game of golf.
    We will miss you Seve,
    God bless you.

  • Comment number 4.

    Thank you Seve!

  • Comment number 5.

    Very sad to hear that Seve passing away. I saw him play in the old Sun Alliance Matchplay at Dalmahoy, outside Edinburgh in the late 70's. He was three down with four or five to play against Tony Jacklin. Over the closing holes he drove the par fours, chipped out of the trees and one by a hole. In an earlier round he chipped in twice from off the green to beat Brian Huggett. I've played and watched golf all my life but have never forgotten those matches. RIP Seve.

  • Comment number 6.

    A great loss to the sporting world not just golf. A man with true charisma. Come on European Tour rename the Tour the Seve Ballesteros Memorial European Tour as without him you would not be where you are today. And R&A how about a Seve Trophy for the most entertaining player in the Open each year as voted for by the fans (easy to do by web vote)?

  • Comment number 7.

    Seve, you will be sorely missed
    Thank you for the many many memories

  • Comment number 8.

    as a teen my dad took me to the final round at st andrews 1984.the reason i play and love golf today. sad sad day for golf.
    r.i.p a true golfing great.

  • Comment number 9.

    R.I.P to a true golfing icon. Thanks Seve!

  • Comment number 10.

    What a legend how very sad that he is now gone. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. I will always remember his great Ryder cup victory, the enthusiasm, joy and excitement he brought to the game.
    We will miss you 'Seve'.

  • Comment number 11.

    so gutted to here about seve,he really was a legend,the world is a worst place without him,R.I.P seve

  • Comment number 12.

    Have to day I had a tear in my eye this morning; I watched Seve win the Open at Lytham in 1988 - still the only golf tournament I have actually attended - and it was a truly magic day. Thank you Seve - what a genius you were

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm not the biggest golf fan, but my grandfather was. It's no exaggeration to say that Seve Ballesteros brightened the last 10 years of my grandpa's life. RIP Seve.

  • Comment number 14.

    Seve, I salute you.
    I was at Royal Lytham in '79 to see him win his first Open.
    I followed his career closely and no golfer of the present generation could hold a candle to him.
    A fantastic golfer and an all-time golfing hero of mine.
    Thanks for everything Seve.
    RIP.

  • Comment number 15.

    A very sad morning. Seve brightened up the world of golf, with his charismatic smile and cheeky grin. A very tragic end for someone with such a remarkable sporting career. He will be very sorely missed.

  • Comment number 16.

    The abiding memory I have of Seve, was him thrashing an iron shot out of the car par at the Open in 1979. As well as his 3 - wood to the tenth at the Masters, he will be truly missed, via condios Seve a true champion in every way.

  • Comment number 17.

    "holing for birdie at the 16th after playing from the car park for his first Claret Jug at Lytham five years earlier."

    A truly magical moment.

    Condolences to his family and close friends.

  • Comment number 18.

    Sat listening to people talk of the man shows how loved he was. A true legend of Golf and of sport. Made golf entertaining to watch. He sits up there with the best there ever is and ever was on the golfing course. Will be missed by so many, let's hope that Europe can bring a major home in his honour next season.

  • Comment number 19.

    I forget which year, but at the PGA tournament at Wentworth, Seve had only just made the cut, and went out first with a marker on the Saturday. As we watched from behind the first tee, he turned to the assembled throng and said with a big smile 'We're going to have some fun today, yes?'. And we did, he thrilled us with his golf, continually interacted with the fans and went round in 65. A magical day that I will never forget from one of the most charming men you could ever hope to meet.

    God bless you Seve, you were my inspiration in golf and in life. Rest in peace my friend.

  • Comment number 20.

    RIP Seve! Gone but never forgotten

  • Comment number 21.

    Made golf an interesting game for me (for more than one reason!). Fought so hard against the biggest enemy of all. RIP.

  • Comment number 22.

    Thanks for the memories RIP

  • Comment number 23.

    Everyone loved Seve! This is sad news and sincere condolences to his family and friends. But we have happy memories of this charismatic, entertaining and unique golfing genius. I feel privileged to have seen him play at the World Matchplay many times. He always drew the biggest crowds and the British fans loved him. R.I.P.

  • Comment number 24.

    Redefined Golf Redfined Genius Redfined Charisma. Seve you may have gone but you haven't you are always in our hearts minds and prayers. Thank you for everything you did to brighten our lives and show us that nothing was impossible if you dared and if you believed

  • Comment number 25.

    Great tribute, emotional to read! As a Spaniard, I have been always moved by the respect and love British people had for Ballesteros. He was one of the greatest spanish sport personalities in our history, a real pioneer, one of those heros, like Manolo Santana in tennis or Angel Nieto in motorbiking, that made history and plant our flag around the world in much more challenging time, now that we are living the "golden era" of spanish sport, we should remember them. Descansa en paz.

  • Comment number 26.

    Sad news indeed. My very first sporting idol, just about, and a great great golfer.

  • Comment number 27.

    My first memory of Seve was at the 84 open. We had just got one of these new VCR machines. My mom had a massive crush on Seve, and i was instructed to record the tv everytime Seve came on, much to my dads annoyance. My mom even got my dad for his birthday several Seve Slazenger jumpers.

    RIP Seve - A genuine legend.
    Some players may have won more majors than you, but no one has as many fans as you Seve.

  • Comment number 28.

    Such sad sad news; and like many others I have shed a tear. In an age of soundbites and instant news hyperbole is rife and terms such as genius, brilliance, sporting greatness and iconic are used for talent which is by and large ephemeral. Seve was all of those because his talent stood the test of time.

    He was also on occassions fragile, emotional and above all human which is why I think we all loved him so much; we could identify with him.

    RIP Seve; your legacy will live on and so will our memories. Thank you.

  • Comment number 29.

    Certain people transcend their sport Seve was one of the legends of 80's sport.

    Any sports fan would appreciate his qualities in any era!

    Ole - Seve!

  • Comment number 30.

    Gutted. My brothers and I were all keen golfers, and I know that Seve was more of an inspiration to them both than he was to me. A real shame for such a great golfer to bow out at such a relatively young age, I hope his passing can gee up my brother playing on the challenge tour in France today though I know he'll be very upset.

  • Comment number 31.

    Among the many fitting tributes to Seve, I do hope the following take place.
    Vivendi: please rename your event the Seve trophy presented by Vivendi.
    Ollie and Monty: please captain the respective teams.
    European palyers: please turn up.
    Seve, no te olvidaré nunca.

  • Comment number 32.

    I started watching golf in the early 80's and Seve is the reason I started playing the game. Thank you for the memories.

  • Comment number 33.

    I had the good fortune to photograph Seve at one of the very early Sun City Million Dollar 'Pro-Am' tournaments in South Africa - I was a young press photographer at the time and I remember him sinking to his knees and throwing his putter up in the air as he missed the hole on the 18th - giving me a motor-drive series of images which without doubt helped my career up to the next level.

    I've never been able to thank him - and perhaps this little paragraph will go some way to expressing my thanks to the fabulous Seve Ballesteros. Rest in peace.

  • Comment number 34.

    We admire many sports men and women. But some stand apart, Bobby Charlton, Henry Cooper, Mary Peters and of course Seve. They stand apart because they are also loved.

  • Comment number 35.

    A *genuine* genius. Saw him play some sort of 'exhibition' match at a course in North East Fife. (Kingsbarns, I think.) The pairing was Seve and Jack Nicklaus! The crowd was ridiculously large and is was difficult to get a good vantage point but just to glimpse either man was indeed a privilege. Thanks Seve, your legacy is eternal.

  • Comment number 36.

    Without a doubt one of the most gifted and graceful players ever to tread the fareways, an icon in world sport and the opitome of all thats good in the world of sport. a dogged and relentless individual that brought the joy of golf to countless millions. the world is a poorer place without you. Ole Seve

  • Comment number 37.

    Very shocked to read this sad news. Remember watching Seve for the first time on T.V. at the 1988 Open, and was insipred by his majical play. He was unique, so different to all the others, stood out from the crowd, and indeed also played amazing shots from where the crowd were standing, to the heart of the green.

  • Comment number 38.

    I named my son Sevvy when he was born in 1985 as a tribute to a truly great champion. It was a privilege to watch Seve play and to feel the excitement in the crowd that he generated with his unique skill and daring on all parts of the course. A human being we could all relate to but his shot making was super human. I watched him play numerous times from the "wrong" fairway, from behind trees, from the undergrowth, never mind the rough. To see a ball emerge vertically from a crowd of people and a copse of trees where no one else had played from before, and to land on the green and invariably hole the putt almost by pure strength of will was awe inspiring. He entertained us like no other. He inspired us. He will always be remembered with great affection, respect, and thanks. Thank you Seve.

  • Comment number 39.

    A truly great golfer but, above all, a great man. Article moved me to tears. R.I.P Seve.

  • Comment number 40.

    A truly inspirational player.
    He made and played shots that seemed virtually impossible and many golfers wouldn't have had the imagination to see what Seve saw.
    His example has led to many others taking a leaf from his book.
    I heard an interview with Leftie recently and he said that Seve was his golfing idol.
    You can see by the way he playes that Seve's swashbuckling style rubbed off.
    Such a shame he departed this life so young.
    However his memory will be indelibly imprinted into many golf follower's hearts and minds for decades to come.

  • Comment number 41.

    Thanks for all those memorys Seve and for helping me with my game and being an insperation for the last 38 years in golf and to all those who play golf I think your best shot was still the car park and as I watched an still watch it on Video it still sends a shiver down my spine.
    My thoughts are with his family god bless you Seve and Rest In Peace and THANKYOU

  • Comment number 42.

    Watched the great man play as I was growing up - he was one of the main reasons I turned pro. I remember following him for every shot of the 1981 World Matchplay final against Crenshaw. They were side by side on the practise ground - those days firing up one of the East Course holes. Seve was hitting 3 woods to his caddie who was fielding them first bounce. He snap-hooked one into the trees, glowered at the face of the club for a few seconds and dropped another ball down. He then signalled to his caddie to retreat a few yards and promptly smashed one arrow straight, clean over his head. Us spectators went mad, Crenshaw grinned, Seve glowered at the club once more to dare it, just dare it to even think of trying that during the final, dropped it back in the bag and pulled out the driver. What a talent, with a short game the like of which I've never seen before.

    Great article Iain, brings a smile and a tear all at once, so you captured him just right.

    R.I.P. Seve, and thanks for helping me love the game just a little more than I already did.

  • Comment number 43.

    So sorry to hear of Seve's death, he was the first golfer I remember enjoying watching on the television. RIP.

  • Comment number 44.

    A truly charismatic sportsman - very sad news

  • Comment number 45.

    Very sad news. You will be missed Seve. Condolences to his family and friends. Thanks for the great memories

  • Comment number 46.

    was driven to see the great man at a book signing in london at the time of his autobiography. i was a nervous wreck, as standing next to my hero. he flashed me a smile and said thankyou. i will never forget him. rip seve

  • Comment number 47.

    I saw Seve play at Gleneagles in the Scottish Open a number of years ago and there is only one word to describe him - MAGICAL.

    Gone but will never never be forgotten.

  • Comment number 48.

    What a great player and what a courageous man. Every now and then there comes along a player who transcends their sport, draws in a wider audience and changes it for good. They may not have won the most tournaments, they may have been erratic along the way but when they did play, people wanted to watch. As Alex Higgins re-defined snooker, so Seve re-defined golf. R.I.P. and thanks for the wonderful memories.

  • Comment number 49.

    I can't quite believe how upset I've been this morning. I started playing golf as 12 year old in 1979/80. For me, Seve was simply the very best there has been and is the main reason why I got hooked on the game of golf. RIP Seve, you will be missed but never forgotten.

  • Comment number 50.

    Great player and Great human being.
    RIP Seve

  • Comment number 51.

    So many memories where do I start

    1. 17th in the twilight kiwa island ryder cup winnig in the fourballs
    2. Masters 1983
    3. Ryder cups I attended 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1998
    4. Numerous birdies from impossible positions

    I could go on but the list would go on forever. Two golfers inspired me to take up golf, Nick Faldo and Seve. If only my swing had the tempo of either. The only tip I got from him (during a pro am) work on your short game and you'll get to a single figure handicap. 20 years on I play off 6 and the advice I got has never been forgotten. There are few times when I have been moved to tears by the death of a sporting legend. Brian Clough passing was one, Seve another.
    If you could build your perfect golfer I am sure many of us could argue who we'd model it on. But none of us would argue the short game would have to be Seve's. Someone elsewhere said 1 on 1 in his prime he'd beat anyone. Yep I'd agree with that even Tiger would have struggled.
    The man who made the Ryder cup what it is today and started the era of European dominance. Noone felt more passionately about beating the Americans. The fiercest competitor and opponent, loved by the fans, a caddies nightmare (I hope he won't mind me saying up there, just read how we won the ryder cup).
    All that said Seve you are still and will forever be a legend, a gentleman, a genius, a sporting icon, a great ammbasador not only for golf but for your country. Your fans love you and will miss you greatly. Rest in peace and keep practicing with that driver one day you may hit it straight ;-) not that you ever needed too.

  • Comment number 52.

    Seve was the greatest! RIP Seve...we will all miss you!

  • Comment number 53.

    Along with Ian Botham, Seve is one of my two sporting heroes. I always wanted to play like them, swashbuckling like Botham but then I batted like Boycott. Like Seve I could discover corners of a course unexplored by the mapmakers but while I stayed there swiping at the undergrowth, he escaped in thrilling fashion.

    Sadly, my memories of those summer sporting days are now tinged with the early loss of Seve. But what memories I have!

  • Comment number 54.

    It's hard to put into words what Golf owes to Seve, so I won't try. He was always worth watching and listening to, the world as a whole and golf in particular has lost one of their greatest. He will always be in golfers minds when they speak of the greats and their greatness. Some say Tiger is the greatest ever golfer, sorry Tiger is but a mere shadow of the true greatness of Seve. Seve will always be remembered for who he was and what he did, Tiger will be remembered for what he did. Seve only won 5 Majors, so what? He always won with style, he gave back more than he took, and that is worth much more than Majors. Sorry to say but apart from Jack I cannot see anyone else being thought of being in the same mould as Seve, and certainly not any of the new breed. Seve was a one off, now he has gone we are a little poorer, but a lot richer for ever seeing him play the game. We should all shed a tear for his passing, but then that tear will turn to a tear of joy when we realise how lucky we were to see him play the game of golf, either in the flesh or on TV, Bye Seve.

  • Comment number 55.

    Massive loss to both his Family and the Golfing world His genius will never be forgotton or equalled RIP Seve

  • Comment number 56.

    1= A TRUE GENTLEMAN (even with his Spainish temperament)
    2= A GREAT Golfer (no shot was impossable)
    3= What a Ryder cup captain.
    A very sad loss to Golf but to us ALL.

    R.I.P. Sevi

    G.B.Y. family

  • Comment number 57.

    At 16 I remember him winning his first British Open, he did it with a smile and oh such passion. Then when I briefly joined the European Tour Productions Team in 1994, I met him face to face at Crans-sur-Sierre and watched in amazement when he tried to win the tournament, with his swimming pool shot off the wall. Being an Englishman Jacklin and Faldo were my heroes, but Seve had that added dimension. “A MAN WITH PASSION, FIGHTING SPIRIT, A TRUE SPORTSMAN”. We will all miss him.
    My nephew had a brain tumor in 1993 at 18 months, he has fought it and recovered is now 18. Michael Etherington - Sydney, Australia

  • Comment number 58.

    Lovely tribute Iain. Its marvelous to see so many people have so many personal experiences of Seve. He was my inspiration to keep playing the game..and still is. My memories are from Woburn in 80's. A genius. Greatness is determined not only by how you played in your prime but the legacy you left the game. Seve, you were for me the greatest of all. European golf would not be what is today without you. Sad day

  • Comment number 59.

    Thanks for the article Iain and a great tribute to a true legend. We will all remember you Seve for what you were..... a star!

  • Comment number 60.

    Muchas grácias, gran señor. R.I.P.

  • Comment number 61.

    Seve was a master hardly recognized here in Spain for many years when golf was not even considered a sport in my country. British fans and media made us, the Spaniards, realize we have a star. Thanks a lot to all the British people that loved Seve as one of their own. Today in Spain is a day of pain, mourning and sorrow. The best for you, Seve.

  • Comment number 62.

    Followed the great man around St George's on a practice day before 1993 Open. He was no longer quite the force of his glory years but still a joy to watch. I recall particularly the 14th par 5 which ran alongside a neighbouring course where a final qualifying round was in progress. Pros battling to get in the Open proper stopped their game for several minutes just to wait for Seve's practice drive. From the middle of the fairway he then hit another driver into a stiff breeze to the green, and then conducted a chipping masterclass hitting repeated balls into the bank and rolling up to the flag unerringly. Playing partners strolled over to admire and you suddenly realised that we were all just grateful fans - and remain so.

  • Comment number 63.

    This is one of the saddest days in golf, the golfer's hero is dead. Our lives would have been so much less if we did not have Seve. I can still feel the swell of pride I felt every time the Ruder Cup came around because we knew the Seve would bring the cup home for Europe. We looked in awe at this David who slew Goliath, no fear in his eyes just pure belief and determination. All the players around him just fed off his enthusiasm and confidence, you could see it in their eyes they would rather die than fail Seve. That is what I remember most about him and what he brought to me and all of us who hacked around the course every weekend...no shot was unplayable and no tournament un-winnable.....thank you Seve for a most beautiful life ...we will never forget you and heaven has gained from our loss.....God Bless You

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    rip seve you were the best

  • Comment number 66.

    Thank you for the great Golfing memories over the years Seve. We will miss you very much and you will always be remembered as the greatest of them all.

    RIP.

  • Comment number 67.

    Really saddened to hear the news about Seve - he has always been my sporting idol - nothing was ever impossible, the sheer charisma and competitive will underpinned by a vulnerability that made fans connect with him living each rollercoaster round shot by shot...you only get to choose your sporting idols once in a lifetime - so sad that mine is gone although he will never be forgotten. RIP Seve and thanks for the memories...

  • Comment number 68.

    R.I.P. Seve a true sporting legend, the world is a going to miss you. Thank you for all the great memories, without your influence golf would of never moved on and appealed to the masses. Your passion and love for the game has and will never be surpassed by todays production line golfers.

  • Comment number 69.

    A genius on the golf course, nothing was impossible. It was an honor to have had the opportunity to watch Seve master the game of golf. A true legend. RIP Seve.

  • Comment number 70.

    simply the best . one and only. will never be touched

  • Comment number 71.

    Seve was by far the best thing that ever happened to the game of golf in Europe, and an inspiration to thousands of us club golfers who struggle in the monthly medal. We will never see the like of him again. Thank you for the immense pleasure you gave me over several years.
    Brian Smith.

  • Comment number 72.

    Seve will leave an enormous legacy for the game particularly, for me, the Ryder Cup and his famous partnerships with Chema Olazabal - with Madrid bidding for the 2018 Ryder Cup and the decision next week - surely a fitting recognition to grant the event that Seve helped shape to Madrid in his honour

  • Comment number 73.

    I myself took up golf in the late 1970's, because this magnificent guy made it look so easy - best ever player in my humble opinion. Tiger may have won more majors, but Seve won the people with his carisma, supurb shot making skill's & most of all for being himself - a sporting gentleman!! Great player who will never be forgotten by ALL golf & indeed sports fans all over the world. Big loss to the great game. Let's have a European winner in this years open, who can dedicate it to Seve. R.I.P.

  • Comment number 74.

    The world of golf in particular......and the world in general, is a better place as a result of your life. God Bless you Seve!!

  • Comment number 75.

    R.I.P. Seve - A great golfer and a great man.

  • Comment number 76.

    I was never a big fan of golf, but when Sevvy was on the box I couldn't help but watch. An improvisational genius, great player, consummate professional and superlative sportsman, gracious, magnanimous, modest and self-effacing. The blog's title is spot on - we were, indeed, privileged. Golf has lost an icon, and Spain has lost one of its favourite sons. The flags outside the ayuntamiento here are at half mast, the whole village seems to be in mourning. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Adios Seve, descansa en paz.

  • Comment number 77.

    I was a 14 year old at St Andrews in '84 for the final round. I followed him round to see him win and will never forget the experience. Electrifying in it's intensity. Seve was the inspiration for so many people in the game of golf. I am just so sad that he didn't get his chance to retire from the game waving finally to the crowds from the bridge over the swilken burn. Surely the R&A, European Tour and the PGA will honour his passing with something lasting. The most captivating golfer I've ever seen. Seve I'll miss you. Rest in peace

  • Comment number 78.

    I remember watching him as a kid on the BBC, he made golf seem so easy. Trademark smile and charisma, he was one of the main reasons i started watching golf.

    A true legend

    RIP

  • Comment number 79.

    Sad sad day for golf and for sporting people the world over with the passing of a true genius and sporting legend! As a 15 year old watching Seve's win at Lytham in 88 for me is something I will never forget and also spurred me on to become a pro myself! Some of the shots he played should have been impossible but to him were just normal! He loved to entertain and for me that is what sport is all about! Proper gentleman who was loved by everyone. Will be missed

  • Comment number 80.

    In his pomp he was invincible! Genius short game and incredible mental toughness. He made the Ryder Cup competitive....and was a truly global superstar. Inspired me to play golf. We'll miss you Seve! RIP

  • Comment number 81.

    Very sad to hear the passing of a great legend. Become a fan of Seve as a student in the UK in the early 80's. Even though I did not get the chance to see him play golf on the course, followed his career on TV. I had wished that I could get the chance to see him but this was quite impossible. His passing at such an early age is a great loss to golf, especially in Europe. European golf wouldn't what it is now if not for Seve. Sincere condolences to his family and RIP Seve. We will always remember you.

  • Comment number 82.

    A great man, a great golfer and a great loss. RIP.

  • Comment number 83.

    I admired this man greatly He was a true gentleman and wonderful ambassador for Spain and the game of golf.God rest in peace Seve,the world is much poorer without you.

  • Comment number 84.

    Its a very sad day, the passing of a truely great sportsman, Seve you will forever be an inspiration on and off the course. I was lucky enough to see you in full flow, 1991 Open at Birkdale, 1993 Open at St Georges & when you captained the Europeans in the Ryder Cup in 1997 at Valderrama, where you nearly ran me over in your buggy, you drove a buggy like you did a golf ball, hard and route one, but you were instantly forgiven. You will never be forgotten, thank you Seve, RIP.

  • Comment number 85.

    Taken much too soon. God must need help with his short game. RIP

  • Comment number 86.

    Ludicrously perhaps, I feel as if I have lost an old friend today. Watching Seve was a major part of my leisure time for a decade or so in the 80's and 90's, mainly at Wentworth for the PGA and the World Matchplay. My children were introduced to Golf watching Seve. He was magic personified and totally professional from start to finish. Unlike another since knighted person, Seve would sign autographs and talk with the fans. To use an old quote, Seve played a game with which I was not familiar. Goodbye old friend may your eternity be blessed with peace.

  • Comment number 87.

    What a man you were, adios Seve.

  • Comment number 88.

    Been out all day and haven't seen news till now, its sad to hear that 1 of the greatest golfers of all time has passed away, Seve will be sorely missed.

  • Comment number 89.

    What a day to remember the good things, his energy his smile and his fighting spirit. A light and gone out in europe but a great one has gone on in heaven. Always remembered and sadly missed, Thank you Sevey for everything

  • Comment number 90.

    My abiding memory of Seve is at the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama. For 3 days, wherever I was on the course, Seve seemed to be there. It was as if there were 5 or 6 Seve clones driving around in blue buggies. He was everywhere... encouraging, cheering, ranting, applauding, advising, selecting clubs for each shot, willing his team on to win as only he could.
    In every truly great sportsman there is a great MAN and it is Seve's humanity that will ensure that his soul will live on through the game of golf as long as it is played. I'm not sure we will ever see his like again.

  • Comment number 91.

    Seve you will never be forgotten, a true great of the game and a truly great man

  • Comment number 92.

    Seve was the ultimate Ryder Cup warrior. I have so memories of him in these (i bore friends and family with them!) ....Kiawah 1991 he was supreme but i will always remember his final singles vs tom Lehman in 1995. Seve couldn't smell let alone hit a fairway unlike Lehman who was flawless. 1 down after 1, Seve meandered through the rough at 2 with Lehman 8 ft away after his 2nd. one American fan turn to his buddy and i heard him say "you know, they have to play at least 10 holes"....i think Seve might have heard him too cos he promptly chipped in, Lehman missed...All Square as it remained for 9 holes with some amazing escapes from the greatest short game player ever.

    After he lost, he was there willing his team mates on and was first on to hug faldo after his decisive victory. After Europe won, who were us Euro fans (mainly Brits, I should add) chanting for? The captain? Faldo? Monty? Langer? .....no, you all know it was Seve. What an icon! He'll be missed but never forgotten

  • Comment number 93.

    I was in Paris about nearly 30 years ago when Ballesteros won the French Open. I was getting a plane on the Monday afternoon following the game and saw him standing ahead of me at the check-in at CDG airport. He was alone, apart from his trusty bag of clubs, and listening to a Walkman.

    He kept listening on the flight and paid no attention to all the newspaper stories that had his picture splashed across the front page.

    I was very impressed by his modesty, both in travelling economy class and being so relaxed about his achievement.

    In turn, his privacy was respected by the other passengers and no-one bothered him although everyone knew who he was. There are few of his kind around nowadays and one can only express sadness at his death.

  • Comment number 94.

    Seve, what a man, what a golfer, what a loss. You inspired me when I was young, 29 years ago, you made golf sexy, had to play the game aged 5. I even nagged my dad to buy men a green slazenger jumper for when I played just like your blue one you used to wear. Whenever I was on a tee or chipping on to the green, I always imagined that it was me "Seve" playing the shot!! Nevermind, you are where you belong with the angels and playing gold with the man upstairs on the best golf course in heaven. You will be sorely missed and the void you leave will be be a very hard one to fill.

    xxx

  • Comment number 95.

    Fitting tribute from a fantastic Cornish Band :

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ElMosquitoe

  • Comment number 96.

    A role model for life and truly inspirational and passionate sportsman -brings a tear to the eye.

  • Comment number 97.

    What a man

  • Comment number 98.

    Thanks for the memories
    RIP, Seve

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    Loved Seve, a sporting hero, as a teenager and self taught golfer i idolised him, loved wearing my 'seve' slazenger navy blue sweater, thinking I would play like him, loved his short game and charisma, very, very sad day, Seve, thank you for the memories, the inspiration and the fun.

 

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