Kenya Golf Guide

YOU WILL BE MISSED: Golfing legend Seve Ballesteros reacts after sinking a putt.


THE golfing world will continue to flood the fairways with tears this week following the death of the great Seve Ballesteros.

The Spaniard’s funeral on Wednesday will be followed by three days of mourning in the region around his home village of Pedrena.

Fans everywhere will never forget his incredible shot-making skills and the boundless charisma Seve, 54, brought to the game, before losing his long battle with brain cancer in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Caddie Billy Foster, who is now with world No 1 Lee Westwood, remained in close contact with his former employer and the legend’s family.

When we chatted after this year’s Masters, our conversation turned to recollections of Seve’s extraordinary flair – and in particular to a shot Foster tried to talk the maestro out of playing at the 1993 European Masters in Switzerland.

Ballesteros, never the straightest of hitters, had sent his ball way right, and it finished up just a foot behind a wall that separated the course from the clubhouse swimming pool.

Foster recalled: “I begged Seve to play out sideways rather than try to get it over the wall, which was about eight feet high.

“I told him he would either break his wrists or his ball would fly back into his face. But he kept saying ‘No Billy, you don’t understand – I have this shot. I can play it. You will see.’

“So he opened the face of his wedge, somehow got the ball up and over the wall, through a tiny gap in the trees and on to the fairway just short of the green. Then he chipped in for birdie!

“People have been talking about how I went down on my knees and bowed to Phil Mickelson when he holed an amazing chip for a birdie in Houston the week before The Masters. I had only done that once before, and it was that day in Switzerland.

“They have erected a plaque on the Crans-sur-Sierre course to celebrate that shot. We use the word genius too much these days, but Seve was one. You couldn’t take your eyes off him when he was on the course.”

Ballesteros died with his family around him. He was laid to rest in his favourite golfing outfit – blue pullover and blue trousers.

His brother Baldomero told reporters they were the clothes the five-time Major winner usually wore on his “Sundays of glory”.

He said: “Seve said goodbye to us all one by one. He grabbed our hands and whispered in our ears. He did everything showing great fortitude.”

Images of Ballesteros were played on the giant screens at the Madrid Open tennis and a visibly moved Rafael Nadal played with a black ribbon on his shirt.

Ryder Cup-winning skipper Colin Montgomerie said: “Even if you didn’t like golf you loved Seve.

“There are very few legends in the world, Seve is one of them. I never saw such a talent to swing a golf club and we may never see it again. He has left us with so many wonderful memories and his contribution to European golf is unquantifiable.”

Everyone who watched Seve play has memories of his cavalier greatness – whether it was his birdie at the 16th at The Open in Lytham in 1979, making him the ‘Car Park King’ or playing a shot off his knees in France 18 years later.

He won The Open three times – 1979, 1984 at St Andrews and back at Lytham in 1988. Add to that two Masters triumphs in 1980 and 1983 and a record 50 European Tour titles.

He will, perhaps, be best remembered for his Ryder Cup heroics including a record-breaking partnership with Jose Maria Olazabal – 11 wins, two halves and just two defeats in 15 matches – plus his inspirational captaincy at Valderrama in 1997.

Back problems meant his last win came in 1995. Fittingly, it was at the Open de Espana, where the flags this weekend were at half mast.

Seve leaves a glorious legacy as the most exciting and arguably the best-loved player ever to hold a golf club.

Roll of honour

OPEN WINS: 1979 (Lytham & St Annes), 1984 (St Andrews), 1988 (Lytham & St Annes).

MASTERS WINS: 1980, 83.

FIRST TITLE: 1976 Dutch Open aged 19 yrs, 121 days.

RYDER CUP: Competed eight times as a player, scoring 22½ points – Three European wins, one tie. Won as 1997 non-playing captain.



EUROPEAN ORDER OF MERITS: 5 (1976, 77, 78, 86, 91).

GOLFER OF THE YEAR: (1986, 88, 91).


Courtesy of The Sun canada goose deutschland canada goose deutschland

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