Marcus patience is a genius

The tragedy of a golf genius

The great Jack Nicklaus called it "the soul of European golf" - it lost it ten years ago today.

Severiano Ballesteros, one of the greatest in his sport, died on May 7, 2011. Many people around the world, not just the passionate golfers, were shocked.

Severiano Ballesteros, affectionately just called "Seve", was popular beyond the borders of golf, a gentleman, always friendly, not aloof, someone within reach.

Severiano Ballestores 1979 with an unforgettable coup

Seve was very special on the pitch. He triumphed five times in the majors (three times British Open, twice US Masters). He won almost 100 tournaments worldwide. The man from Pedrena on the Bay of Biscay set standards at a time when European golf was becoming increasingly important thanks to its German rival Bernhard Langer. Ballesteros - who learned the game in an unorthodox way on the beach - played golf for the textbooks and his swing became the benchmark.

Ballesteros once described himself as "an artist rather than a player".

His coup on the way to his first British Open triumph in 1979 at the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club will not be forgotten, when he missed his tee shot on the third from last hole on the final day. The ball landed in a parking lot. From there, the 22-year-old pushed the ball straight onto the green with an artificial stroke, followed by a birdie. From then on he was only called the "parking lot champion".

Ballesteros also supported less well-heeled golf talents with a foundation. "I owe everything to golf and I am happy that I can support and encourage young people in need," he said of his initiative.

Tumor diagnosis came in 2008

At the end of 2008, the life of Ballesteros changed suddenly. A brain tumor was diagnosed after a breakdown at Madrid airport.

He was operated on four times. Initially successful. He described his recovery in June 2009 as follows: "It was like a dream and very difficult at the beginning. After everything the doctors have told me, it is a miracle."

The miracle didn't last long, it ended two years later. "Seve" Ballesteros was 54 years old.


With sports information service (SID)