Viva Seve – Spanish Legend Turns 50

The European Tour this week pays tribute to Spanish legend Seve Ballesteros, who turned 50 years old on April 9.

It has been a long time since Ballesteros triumphed in a Major tournament, but the memories of his swashbuckling style of play, at an era when Tiger Woods was unheard of, will live long in the hearts of golf fans the world over.

As a half-centurion, Ballesteros is now eligible to play on the Seniors Tour after 30 years among golf’s elite. Despite his fading abilities, he was still among the most popular attractions at last week’s US Masters.

The Houdini of golf, Ballesteros relished the challenge of escaping from difficult lies. And for those watching, it was pure escapism indeed.

Among his most memorable shots was the famous three-wood from the bunker during the 1983 Ryder Cup in Florida, where he cleared 247 yards to make the green and halve a match. Four years earlier, he played out of a parking lot on his way to winning the 1979 British Open.

He was also an inspirational Ryder Cup captain for the Europeans 10 years ago when they defeated the Americans and continues to be a fine ambassador for the sport.

Ballesteros has five Major titles – three Open Championships (1979, 1984 and 1988) and two US Masters triumphs (1980 and 1983). In addition, he has won 87 international tournaments, including 50 on the European Tour. He still holds the European record of having won at least one tournament every season for 17 straight years between 1976 and 1992.

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