This past weekend the world of golf lost one of the most colorful and influential players of the 21st century – Seve Ballesteros.
He passed away after a long battle with cancer and has not been a big part of the professional golf scene for several years now because of the disease. His death occurred during the Open de España, where the European Tour marked his passing with a moment of silence during the third round at the Real Club de Golf El Prat in Barcelona.
Tiger Woods said of Ballesteros that he was “one of the most talented and exciting golfers to ever play the game”. World number one Lee Westwood said of Ballesteros, “Seve made European golf what it is today”.
Seve was regarded as single-handedly establishing the European Tour on a global front. He won 91 tournaments worldwide. Of these wins fifty were on the the European Tour, nine were on the PGA Tour and he holds five majors. The majors include two Masters and three British Opens.
He is best remembered on the golf course for his flamboyant swashbuckling style, his ability to get up and down from anywhere on the course and his gregarious, charismatic and confident persona.
Seve played on several Ryder Cup teams for Europe and was well known for his gamesmanship. He captained the winning European Ryder Cup Team in 1997, held at Valderrama Golf Club at Sotogrande, Spain. It was one of the last highlights of a fabled career and maybe the crowning achievement late in his career.
Seve will be sorely missed, but his spirit most definitely lives on.
In other PGA news the most well known sports personality in the world, Tiger Woods, has made the headlines again. He withdrew from this week’s Tournament Players Championship from the TPC at Sawgrass Golf Course in Ponte Vedra FL.
He withdrew after playing only 9 holes on Thursday citing a plethora of injuries to his knee, his achilles and his calf. He was also six over par at the time and shot a 42. He shook hands with his two playing partners and walked to the scoring and officials trailer to retire from the event. He then gave a short press conference, got into his late model Mercedes and left the golf course.
More than one writer and golf analyst has noted that Tiger’s ego was probably more hurt than his body. He duck hooked his 1st tee shot and later chipped a ball into a lake. The winning Tiger Woods plays with extreme confidence, passion for the game and the killer instinct. It was not that long ago that Tiger beat Rocco Mediate on a busted up leg in a playoff at the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines. The Tiger of today is becoming a mere mortal and as fan of golf I hope he rounds into form and becomes a force again in every event he tees it up in. It’s good for the game of golf.
In Good Golf & Good Health,
TERP GOLF DUDE