Posted onMay 7, 2014bymattd|Comments Off on Remembering Seve Ballesteros Three Years On…
Today three years ago we mourned the passing of one of the greatest golfers to ever play the great game we call golf.
It only seems like yesterday we heard the sad news that Seve’s condition has worsened and that he had then died at the age of 54 of two two malignant brain tumours. Seve was diagnosed with the tumours back in 2008 and underwent several operations, but sadly never fully recovered.
Seve will be remembered for many great things. He won 5 major championships including The Open and The Masters. He won 6 European Tour order of merits with an incredible 50 wins on the European Tour and 96 in total world wide.
His Ryder Cup record was pretty good too with a total of 22½ points in 37 matches played, and of course, how can we forget when he captained Europe to victory in the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama when Colin Montgomerie saw off Scott Hoch at the last hole in virtually pitch darkness.
We called talk about him forever with so many different stories, but the one moment that will stick in my head was the celebration when he won The Open in 1984. Catch the memories below….
He was always be known for his incredible shot making, putting and wayward driving, and will always be talked about in the history of the game. I’m just glad that I grew up when I did, so I was at least able to see some of the genius at work, even if it was for only a handful of years….
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Next week see’s the Seve Trophy get under way yet again, this time in Versailles. Unfortunately the top six qualifiers for the Great Britain & Ireland team have turned down the chance to play.
This is a big blow for the Great Britain and Ireland team who have won the event six times in a row and were bidding to make it seven against a team captained by Seve’s close friendJose Maria Olazabal.
This event is also a chance for the Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley to look at players ahead of the Ryder Cup in September next year and see what they can do.
McGinley said he isn’t worried about the top six not taking part as he knows what they are capable of already.
I think it’s wrong of these players not taking part in an an event started by Seve a while ago now, and they should respect what he has personally done for European golf and the Ryder Cup.
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Ryder Cup captain José Maria Olazábal and two of his fine players – Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari – will add a sense of Ryder Cup fever to the Portugal Masters at Vilamoura next week.
All three will play in the sixth edition of the Portugal Masters at the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura. Captain marvel Olazábal, took Europe to an incredible 14 ½ – 13 ½ victory over the USA at Medinah Country Club thanks to the players in the final two pairings who managed to match the bravery of the ten players who had finished their games in front of them.
Olazábal will also be joined by the four guys who were behind the scenes with him all week in Medinah, Vice-Captains Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Paul McGinley will also competing in the €2,250,000 tournament.
All sixteen people plus many more who travelled to Medinah played their part in the astonishing victory which will go down in history forever and I for one am glad it’s every two years as I don’t think I could handle that pressure year on year.
Just in case you missed the wining putt, here it is again!
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Sunningdale is blessed with two championship courses laid out on the most glorious piece of heathland winding their way through heather, gorse and pine, each one of which has its own individual charm and beauty.
With both the membership and the amount of golf being played increasing after the First World War, the Committee were concerned to reduce the pressure on the Old Course. Developed from an original 9 hole course and 168 acres of Chobham Common, purchased from Lord Onslow the New course opened for play on 10th November, 1923. The architect was Harry Colt.
It is truly the most beautiful golf course, and one of the toughest. The fairways are like most golf courses’ putting greens, they are cut so tight that you have to hit the perfect strike to get your yardages spot on otherwise you will be in trouble.
It’s a long course as well measuring over 6,700 yards, take a look at the scorecard. sunningdale scorecard
Sunningdale has hosted many a professional tournament including The Seve Trophy and the Senior Open Chamionship it also hosts the Sunningdalefoursomes every year which is open to amateurs as well.
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The Vivendi Trophy kicks off this week in France, the Ryder Cup style event takes place every two years. The Vivendi Trophy 2011 will take place from 15th to 18thSeptember at the Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche Golf Course.
Following the success of its 2009 version, the second edition of this great competition, initiated and organised by CANAL+ EVENTS, will once again put the 10 best players in Continental Europe in a head to head with the elite of Great Britain and Ireland.
A new champion at the helm
Jose Maria Olazabal will succeed Colin Montgomerie as the Ryder Cup 2012 Team Captain. The Spanish champion will then head the Seve Trophy 2011. “Txema” may, like Monty did in 2009, oversee and observe the two teams. This arrival is also highly symbolic: we all remember the achievements of the fearsome pair in the Ryder Cup with Olazabal and Ballesteros. For Jose Maria, the Vivendi Trophy will be a great moment in many respects.
Colin Montgomerie will also be present at this meeting to share a few words of wisdom with the new Captain, to fulfil his role as Vivendi golf ambassador, but more importantly, to pay tribute to the Spanish champion.
I’m looking forward to watching some great golf this week, tell me who you think is going to win? And who will be the key players?
Augusta has to be one of my favourite courses of all time, it hosts the second biggest Major of the year ‘The Masters’. Every year when it comes around you can feel the excitement growing around all golf fans as it’s the sign that spring is here and the golf season is a about to get underway again!
Augusta is the most picturesque golf course in the world with its amazing array of flowers and shrubs. Augusta is known best for it’s fast and sloping greens which can make the best players in the world look foolish at times, and it’s usually the person that handles the greens the best that goes on to win.
The course has had to be extended over the years to cope with the advances of technology as it was playing a little bit to easy at one stage, but its back to its toughest again now stretching over 7,400 yards. The course has 10 par 4’s, 4 par 3’s and 4 par 5’s.
Past Winners include: Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods,and Phil Mickleson.
Nick Price and Greg Norman share the course record which stands at 63.
The mystery of how Bobby Jones and course designer Alister MacKenzie first met — and how Jones arrived at picking MacKenzie to design Augusta National Golf Club — has never been fully explained.
The golfer and architect created their masterpiece in the early 1930s, and it is the center of attention each spring as the home of the Masters Tournament.
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Anticipation was high as day one got underway at the final major of the year ‘ The PGA Championship’ and it didn’t disappoint. Expectation was once again on Woods and he was one of the first out in the morning and got off to a flyer birdieing three of the first five of his front nine (teeing off from the 10th) and then to everyone’s amazement dropped 10 shots on the way back to the club house to card a round of 77 (+7)
McIlroy’s round was as equally dramatic for different reasons after finding his tee shot on the third had come to rest up against a tree root (Montgomorie commentating for Sky Sports said ‘ I hope he doesn’t hit this ball for the sake of his career). The Inexperienced Mcilroy proceeded to hit the ball and was badly hurt as a result, to his credit he continued with constant on course treatment and scrambled around an incredibly tough golf course with only one hand on the club at times producing Seve like recovery’s and holing some clutch putts, McIlroy carded a Level par round of 70.
With all this drama going on, the limelight was taken away from Steve Stricker who had a putt for the first 62 in a major championship ever which unfortunately shaved the hole, still his 63 was enough to give him a two shot lead heading into day two.
One major story has dominated not just the golf world across the weekend, but the whole world – the sad loss of Seve Ballesteros at the age of just 54.
Seve was certainly a hero of mine, but to be honest he was a hero to virtually anyone who has ever played the game, and fully deserving of ‘legend’ status.
Seve was responsible for popularising golf in the seventies and onwards and it’s largely thanks to the way he played the game that golf today is as popular as it is – an amazing achievement by any standards.
There are some fabulous tributes to the great man here on the BBC website. The official PGA website also offers a comprehensive memorial page – take a look at it here.
Seve’s presence in the game will be sorely missed, but his legend will live on forever, thanks to moments of genius like this: