As we go into Open week, today we heard the sad but probably not totally unexpected news that the great Seve Ballesteros is retiring from the game of competitive golf.
I for one want to remember Seve for his truly swashbuckling style of play and his pure magic at conjuring shots only the golf gods can bestow.
I think that many a young golfer has been touched by Seve, a few older ones as well.
We wish him well in his retirement and look forward to seeing him maybe commentating on this great sport sometime soon in the future.
Below you can read a factfile of Seve's achievements
1957 - Born April 9, Pedrena, Spain, the son of a greenkeeper
1965 - Uncle Ramon Sota finishes sixth in Masters. Ballesteros learns to play with rusty three-iron on the beach near his home
1974 - Turns professional. Eight days after 17th birthday, scores 83 in first-ever round on European Tour at Spanish Open. With second round 76 finishes 118th out of 135, but in October finishes fifth at Italian Open
1976 - Leads the Open at Birkdale for the first three days before finishing second to Johnny Miller. Four weeks later wins first European Tour title at Dutch Open and tops Order of Merit - with £21,494 total earnings!
1977 - Wins seven times around the world and wins Order of Merit again
1978 - First victory in America at Greater Greensboro Open, plus seven other wins. European No 1 for third successive year
1979 - Wins Open Championship at Royal Lytham, earning title "car park champion" from beaten American Hale Irwin for one particular shot. Makes Ryder Cup debut
1980 - Wins Masters at Augusta, the first European ever to do so. Was 10 ahead with nine to play, but wins by four
1981 - Wins first of five World Match Play titles at Wentworth. Left out of Ryder Cup team in dispute with European Tour
1983 - Wins second Masters by four again, firing last round 69 while co-leaders Ray Floyd and Craig Stadler score 75 and 76
1984 - Stops Tom Watson achieving Open record-equalling sixth title, closing birdie at St Andrews the sweetest moment of his career
1985 - Helps Europe to first Ryder Cup victory since 1957. With four more wins on European Tour has already captured 27 titles
1986 - European No 1 again with record six victories, but misses chance of another Masters after hitting into the water on the 15th. Nicklaus win instead aged 46. If there is one shot Ballesteros would like again that is it
1987 - Part of European side that wins on American soil for first time. Start of partnership with Jose Maria Olazabal that brings 11 wins, two halves and only two defeats
1988 - Last round 65 brings third Open victory and second at Royal Lytham. Tops Order of Merit for fifth time. Marries banker's daughter Carmen Botin.
1989 - Europe triumph at The Belfry again. Ballesteros and Olazabal unbeaten on first two days, but he then loses in controversial fashion to Paul Azinger
1990 - Becomes father to Baldomero
1991 - European No 1 for sixth time. Involved in more controversy with Azinger at Kiawah Island "War on the Shore" cup match. Does Wentworth double of Volvo PGA (after play-off with Colin Montgomerie) and fifth World Match Play
1992 - Second son Miguel is born
1994 - Daughter Carmen is born
1995 - 50th European Tour win at Spanish Open proves to be his last, as does his eighth Ryder Cup cap in dramatic win at Oak Hill
1997 - Non-playing captain as Ryder Cup is successfully defended at Valderrama in first-ever match on Spanish soil, but drops to lowest-ever 136th on Order of Merit
1998 - Last top 10 finish on European Tour comes at Dubai Desert Classic
2001 - Falls outside Europe's top 200
2002 - Cuts back schedule to just nine events in Europe because of back trouble, but still beats Montgomerie in the Seve Trophy for a second successive time
2003 - Fined and reprimanded by Tour after calling them "PGA Mafia", having refused to accept slow play penalty. Loses heavily to Montgomerie in rematch and does not play again for two years
2005 - After break-up of marriage comes out of retirement at Madrid Open, but shoots 77-73. Does not play again for eight months, but is involved in ugly clash with a Tour referee at his home club
2006 - Scores 81-81 for last place on return at French Open, then 74-77 in first Open appearance since 2001
2007 - Returns to Masters after four-year gap, butshoots 86-80 in what turns out to be his final European Tour rounds. 50th birthday three days followed by US Seniors Tour debut in May, but on 16 over par he finishes joint last with 67-year-old Lee Trevino. At Carnoustie on July 16 announces retirement from golf.
Enjoy your Golf
Labels: ballesteros, birkdale, carnoustie, ryder cup, seve, st andrews