Seve: The Young Champion
1957 – 7 May 2011) was a Spanish professional golfer, 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 the age of 19 he finished second at the 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 Tournament 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. He is generally regarded as the greatest Spanish golfer of all time.
Because of back-related injuries, Ballesteros struggled with form during the 1990s. In spite of this, he continued to be involved in the game of golf, creating the Seve Trophy and running a golf course design business. Ballesteros eventually retired from competitive golf in 2007 because of continued poor form, and in 2008 was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. After reports that Ballesteros would make a return to the spotlight at the 2010 Open Championship, following the advice of doctors he did not travel to St Andrews in 2010 for the Open Championship.
Ballesteros was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for the second time at the BBC Sports Personality Awards 2009. He was presented with the award at his home in Spain by his friend, compatriot and former Ryder Cup team-mate José María Olazábal. Ballesteros died of brain cancer on 7 May 2011, aged 54.
Rest in Peace Seve. A true gentleman.