Ballesteros: Fitting tribute to a champion

2012-09-27 00:00

SEVE Ballesteros died in May 2011, but his memory will be present all the way with Europe’s Ryder Cup team when they defend the trophy against the United States this week.

In a homage to the Spanish great, the white bags of the European players will carry high-up on their front the silhouette of an iconic image taken when he sank the winning putt to win the Open Championship at St Andrews in 1984.

That occasion, “El Momento” as Ballesteros referred to it, was “the happiest moment of my whole sporting life”, he said, and the image in silhouette was what he adopted as his business logo. He also had it tatooed on his left forearm.

Many players thought it should also become the symbol of the European Tour after his death following a long battle with cancer.

European Captain Jose María Olazabal revealed the special tribute to Ballesteros when the European Team emerged for their first practice round.

“We felt that this was one way that Seve could be with us every step of the way. This is the first match since he sadly passed away and a fitting tribute to a true champion and a great friend,” he said.

“Seve was an important part of the Ryder Cup because of the way he played and conducted himself from his opening match in 1979. This is the first time since then that he has not been present in anyway because in 2010 he was able to talk to everyone via the telephone. Seve set a wonderful example to generations of golfers and for me there are many, many memories particularly involving the Ryder Cup.

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