• The funds raised in the VI Seve Ballesteros Challenge will go to the research work of the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), the world’s leading institution in brain cancer.
  • Javier and Carmen Ballesteros received the final participants of a circuit that has brought together 2,000 players from across the country and that have helped to achieve the multiple objectives of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation.

Real Golf de Pedreña hosted this weekend the Final of the sixth edition of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation Challenge, a solidarity circuit that takes place every two years and that has travelled the national territory with the objective of raising funds that, as in the five previous editions will go to the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), to assist in the scientific work on tumors of the Central Nervous System led by researcher Massimo Squatrito.

Almost 2,000 players have taken part in the VI Seve Ballesteros Foundation Challenge and the final was played among the 23 qualified couples. In this edition, the bad weather prevented a normal day and the game had to be suspended when only a few holes were played. In the end, by lottery, the ‘victory’ fell to the couple formed by Francisco Javier García Cutrín and Manuel López Silva, of the Real Aero Club of Vigo, and as a fantastic prize they are invited to enjoy the days of July 18 and 19 of the Open 2020 Championship courtesy of The R&A, and guests in transfers and accommodation by The Foundation.

However, all participants received the reward of being able to visit the trophy room of the private house of Severiano Ballesteros where they could marvel at the trophies and the incredible memory of the Cantabrian player, such as the three claret jugs as winner of the Open Championship or the two green jackets as the winner of the Augusta National Masters, among endless trophies, prizes and details that mark the room.
Seve Ballesteros, born in Pedreña (Cantabria) on April 9, 1957, died on May 7, 2011 due to a brain tumour. In 2009 he founded his Foundation in order to contribute to scientific research on brain tumours, as well as to help young people in the development of their sports careers and at the same time bring golf to children using it as an instrument to promote the values that entails.

In 2011, the Seve Ballesteros Foundation signed a collaboration agreement with the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), that since then carries out research tasks focused on advancing the knowledge of the different types of cancer that affect the central nervous system, and whose work has been endorsed and recognized by the reports and papers presented that highlight the quality and progress of the work performed.

The Seve Ballesteros Foundation has contributed, to date, more than 750,000 euros to this great research work. For María Blasco, director of CNIO: “We are very grateful to The Foundation because its contribution is fundamental in the work we are doing and helps to place the CNIO as one of the most important research centres in the world, and the first in Europe, especially in relation to brain tumours, in which there is still much to study. The group that Massimo Squatrito directs is leading in the world and has made great progress in recent years, so we have nothing but words of thanks to the Seve Ballesteros Foundation for its financing”

Similarly, much of the success is due to the important collaboration of Mercedes-Benz since the first edition. Roland Schell, president of Mercedes-Benz Spain, said: “Mercedes-Benz has many values in common with the Seve Ballesteros Foundation. And these are the ones that make us full of satisfaction to be able to collaborate with the Foundation in its support for research”.

The awards ceremony was chaired by Javier and Carmen Ballesteros, sons of Seve, that together with his brother, Miguel, foster his father’s legacy strengthened by the multitude of work carried out by the Foundation. “We appreciate the participation of the thousands of players of this edition, the great help of Mercedes-Benz and the rest of sponsors – without them all this would not be possible – as well as the great collaboration, once again, of the Real Golf de Pedreña – this is where my father started – and the rest of the clubs that have signed up for this biennial edition; and all in order to support the incredible work of the CNIO directed by María Blasco, a work that is not visible on a daily basis, but whose work will help many in a promising future. And we are also very happy with the rest of the projects carried out by the Foundation, especially with children, both in areas of golf learning in children’s oncological areas of different hospitals, and in golf facilities to teach new generations, the two main motives of the foundation that my father created,” said Javier Ballesteros.

Jesús Rodríguez, head of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation golf program in the different hospitals, said: “what started at the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital, in Santander, with a golf playground for children with oncology and psychiatry patients, and It has grown to five terraces and golf programs at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid, which help children to better manage the treatment, learn values and improve their stay in the medical centres”.

Other awards programs in which the Foundation works, such as the inauguration a month ago of the Seve Ballesteros Sports Centre in Brea de Tajo, where the passion of the children of the CRA Los Olivos promoted the transformation of a soccer field into a golf facility that will serve as a boost for golf and its values as well as helping the youth of the Brea Minors Centre in its integration; or the reform and improvement of the Pediatric ICU of the Niño Jesús Hospital in Madrid, the largest project led by the Aladina Foundation.

The dream of the children from Brea de Tajo, Madrid, and specifically those who attend the school CRA Los Olivos, has come true with the opening of the Seve Ballesteros Sports Center. 

From the start it was a promising project of the Madrid Golf Federation, with its golf programme at schools, and has grown thanks to the perseverance of the youngsters, with the support of the City Council and the funds of the rural development programme of Madrid as well as the solidarity and aid of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation. All have been crucial to the success of the project, with the opening of a golf premises, the Sports Center Seve Ballesteros, where a football ground once stood. 

Rafael Barcala, Mayor of Brea de Tajo: “The support of the City Council of Brea de Tajo, the Seve Ballesteros Foundation and the Madrid Golf Fed have been important in this project, but without the enthusiasm and determination of the children of CRA Los Olivos, it would have been imposible to achieve. They were key in mobilizing institutions and golf bodies involved and now it is a reality. Besides becoming an important part of the lives of Brea inhabitants with a programme of Family Golf and other initiatives, it will also stimulate youngsters and provide an activity for the juvenile facility “Teresa de Calcuta”, and elderly people will have another space for their leisure and enjoyment”.

At the same time, Daniel Esteban, director of the CRA, an agrupation of rural schools, Los Olivos, boosted the dreams of the kids at Brea de Tajo by starting the programme “Design for Change”, in which the students had to deliver a project that would change their environment and had to steer it from the beginning until the end. 

“It all started with Seve’s birth in 1957, and then things just seemed to happen, the creation of the Madrid Golf  Federation, then the Seve Ballesteros Foundaton and the birth of Design for Change or The Golf Programme at schools by the Madrid Golf Federation. With passionted work of people in different parts of the world, we have joined forces and children of Brea de Tajo have changed their village into a better place. They had a dream and worked hard as well as many people to reach their aim and not simply a dream.

To end the opening, Miguel and Carmen Ballesteros added:

 “My brother, Javier and sister, Carmen are delighted to collaborate in this exciting project, and golf will be part of the every day life of children and residents of Brea de Tajo. It is a very special project for the Foundation, that our father started and preserves his legacy, supporting the promotion of golf and its values. This dream has been possible thanks to the City Council of Brea de Tajo and the Madrid Golf Federation as well as the rest of institutions. But most of all has been possible thanks to the enthusiasm of the Director and children at CRA Los Olivos.   

  • This project is now operational at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital in Madrid.
  • The Children will have a golf teacher twice a week.

The Seve Ballesteros Foundation and the Aladina Foundation have created a facility dedicated to golf for children and teenagers suffering from cancer at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital in Madrid. This project helps children with cancer while in the hospital.

The facility has been created on five balconies situated on the third floor next to the Oncohaematology Paediatric Ward of the Maternity and Children’s Hospital in the medical centre. Every Monday and Tuesday morning a golf teacher from the Seve Ballesteros Foundation with the help of volunteers from the Aladina Foundation teach the youngsters. The children admitted into hospital can enjoy golf classes and some recreational activities in the open air. There are areas dedicated to golf on artificial grass divided into mini golf, short game, long game, games, playing area and a sitting area. There is a wide array of materials, specially designed for all ages to learn while at the same time creating a safe environment for the children and their families.

“My brother Javier, sister Carmen and I are delighted with this project which has been developed with the help of the Aladina Foundation”, said Miguel Ballesteros, son of the Spanish golfer, Seve Ballesteros. “It is invaluable to us that golf and its values are part of the children’s recovery process whilst fighting against cancer. The Foundation’s golf programs primary aim is to introduce children to the game of golf.  From which they could benefit emotionally and physically”, he added. 

This is the second facility of this kind supported by the Seve Ballesteros Foundation at a hospital facility. After one was built at Marqués de Valdecilla Hospital, Santander, this facility in Madrid is the first intended specifically for oncologic patients. For this the Seve Ballesteros Foundation signed a collaboration agreement with the Aladina Foundation,who had already undertaken several projects at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital, with the support of Mercedes-Benz Spain.

With this project, Seve’s spirit remains alive. More alive than ever with the work of his Foundation which honours his life and sports career. It also preserves his legacy and funds clinical investigations into cancer, as well as promotes golf and its values among children. “Thanks to the generosity of the Ballesteros Family, the young in-patients at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital can become passionate about playing the game of golf. The balcony of the hospital has been turned into a fantastic golf course”, confirms Paco Arango, President of the Aladina Foundation.

Jesús Rodriguez, head of the golf program fostered by the Seve Ballesteros Foundation explains how the process to choose the spaces and build the golf course has taken more than a year. Despite some initial difficulties the site fitted onto five balconies at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital are perfect for the golf activities. “On this second project the Seve Ballesteros Foundation has established a learning scheme to help young patients have fun whilst learning to play golf. We are very enthusiastic about this new project in Madrid. We look forward to sharing time with the young patients and their families during their visits or stays in hospital”, said Jesús Rodriguez.

 Aladina at the Gregorio Marañón

The Aladina Foundation has worked for some years now with the Gregorio Marañon Hospital. The Foundation chaired by Paco Arango has a psycho-oncologist providing free professional help to children and teenagers undergoing cancer treatment at the Gregorio Marañon as well as their parents and siblings. The Aladina Foundation has refurbished and decorated the new teenagers ward. The Foundation has provided new fittings, computers, game consoles, table football, dartboard as well as sofa beds for chaperones in all the rooms.

This non-profit organization also offers therapy with the help of dogs for oncological patients in collaboration with “Perros Azules”. Thanks to this project the young inpatients improve their communication abilities as well as their frame of mind and physical condition.

 

Over 600 children have participated in the programme ‘Seve & Jon golf for kids’ inspired by Seve Ballesteros’ magic and Jon Rahm’s appeal. They know all about Seve through watching his videos and hearing the stories of his feats both at home and in their golf lessons. As for Jon, they had the privilege of sharing an unforgettable day of golf with their hero at Meaztegi Golf, a Seve-designed public golf course in Ortuella, a mining town near Bilbao.

After competing during the summer in five qualifiers, eighty boys and girls under 16 made it to the final event of the ‘Seve & Jon golf for kids’, a joint initiative by Jon Rahm and the Seve Ballesteros Foundation aimed at introducing the game of golf and its values to the younger generations.

This year, the inaugural sub-16 tour featured five qualifying events at Pedreña, Basozábal, Ulzama, Neguri and Larrabea in order to earn a spot in the final at Ortuella. The format – Drive, Chip, Putt – is key to the success of the event, as it provides an exciting show and creates an enjoyable experience in order to attract the kids to the game.  

In addition to organizers Jon Rahm and Javier Ballesteros, a very special group of volunteers joined the initiative guiding the contestants through the various stages of the competition: Miguel Ballesteros, Eriz Rahm and professionals Ángel Matallana, Iñigo Moral, Álvaro Celles, Jesús Legarrea, Íñigo Urquizu, Mikel Galdós, Chisco Lagarto, Alfredo García Heredia and Ander Padura

Daniela San José, Ignacio Irízar, Lucía Núñez, Xanet Izquierdo, Marina and Patricia Sabin, Santiago Jáuregui and Mikel Enazábel are the winners of this inaugural edition. After the prize giving, Jon Rahm and Javier Ballesteros held a press conference with Seve very much present in the minds of all.

Javier Ballesteros:

Seve and Jon: “Joining both their names is really special; since the idea was born, we are all delighted in our family. Jon has said many times that my father is his hero, and they actually have many things in common; both are thoroughbreds and have a special passion. Jon is the present and the future in golf, and has what it takes to win Majors and many tournaments. Both are long hitters and Jon has magic around the greens, as did my father. Both have special hands, and that is a big asset in golf.”

Fundación Seve Ballesteros: “We are taking things slowly but surely because we want to be very clear in our own minds about the purpose and destination of our father’s legacy. We have two foundational aims: brain tumour research through the laboratory that bears his name, and collaboration with the National Cancer Research Centre CNIO. We have built a special facility at the Hospital Valdecilla in Santander where the children patients can play golf, and we also collaborate with the Aladina Foundation.”

Seve’s Majors: “For me it will always be the ’84 Open that gave origin to the logo of our father pumping the air with his fist. The British crowds showed how much they loved him, and winning the Open at St Andrews – You couldn’t ask for more!

“In 2006 I caddied for him. The first day we played with Ian Poulter and Shaun Micheel, and he got such an incredible ovation that it gave me the goose bumps. He only played that year because I asked him to. I was 16, and that week will be forever with me.”

Jon Rahm:

Seve Ballesteros: “Joining my name with Seve’s is an honour and a dream. Seve has always been my hero and my model. I am delighted when people say that that I am like him in some ways because I want to follow in his footsteps. When the younger golfers watch me in video in the future, I would like to make them feel what Seve did for me. I am happy to promote golf amongst children and I take it as my mission for the future of golf. Hopefully this initiative will continue to grow.”

The children: “This morning, when we came into the room packed with kids and I saw the admiration, the excitement and the joy in their faces; when they all came for autographs, I realized the purpose of all this. If they go home believing that they can go far, some of them will make it. If this initiative continues, some kid is sure to appear who is talented and motivated enough to reach the top in golf.”

A very special moment: “On Sunday at the Ryder Cup, just before my last putt a spectator shouted: “¡Viva Seve!” – I couldn’t think of a better moment on a golf course.”

Seve’s videos: “One of my favourites is a 45-minute video of the back nine of his ’79 Open victory, the first he won. He played with Hale Irwin, saving pars and making birdies from all over the place. He celebrates the birdie on 13 as if he had already won. Just his way of walking was incredible, and Irwin waving the white handkerchief – Fantastic!” 

Sunday at the Open de España: “I felt really proud because I have been fortunate enough to be Spanish champion in the cadet, junior and boy’s categories, and I very much wanted to win as a professional at the Centro Nacional, the home of the Spanish Federation, where I spent a lot of time as a junior. It was the most difficult tournament to win because I had to combine my desire to win with the expectations of the crowd. I have never felt such a support for each and every one of my shots, and it was hard to keep up with that. When I finally made it, I was mentally drained.”

“Seve & Jon golf for kids” has the institutional backing of the Bizkaia Provincial Council and the unconditional support of the Tamoin company. It also enjoys the collaboration of TaylorMade, the Royal Spanish Golf Federation and the Autonomous Federations of Cantabria, Navarre and the Basque Country, Real Golf de Pedreña, Real Nuevo Club de Golf Basozábal, Club de Golf Larrabea, Club de Golf Ulzama and Real Sociedad de Golf de Neguri.

 

 

The Seve Ballesteros Foundation has received a donation of €100,000 from the 2018 EurAsia Cup, taking the total donated from the biennial contest between Europe and Asia to €300,000.

The Seve Ballesteros Foundation honours the life, achievements and professional career of the late European Tour legend from Spain, and aims to preserve his legacy and maintain his passion for golf, and especially for what the game can do to inspire young people. Seve set up the Foundation in 2009, with the commitment to contribute to the advancement of science for the benefit of those suffering from brain tumours.

The Foundation also aims to introduce children to golf, and to use the game as a vehicle for social development, instilling the values associated with the practice of the game of golf, and support young golfers in their careers.

Thomas Bjørn, who captained Europe to a 14-10 win over Arjun Atwal’s Asian side, before going on to lead Europe to victory in The Ryder Cup in September, presented the latest cheque to Seve’s son Miguel, adding to the donations from the 2014 and 2016 editions of the tournament.

Miguel Ballesteros said: “On behalf of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, I would like to thank the European Tour and Asian Tour by way of the EurAsia Cup for their generous support.

“The donation helps the Foundation continue with the purposes my father established in 2009: Research for the benefit of those suffering from brain tumours, supporting young golfers in their careers, and helping to introduce children to golf.

“Thanks to your support, Massimo Squatrito, head of the brain tumour group at the SBF laboratory at the National Cancer Research Centre in Spain and his team have accomplished scientific work of great quality for the past six years. They have recently uncovered a novel mechanism, a protein that contributes to preventing the development of glioblastoma, the most aggressive brain tumour.

“My father would be proud to see the continued support of the work of his Foundation.”

In recent years, the Seve Ballesteros Foundation has provided funding to the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (C.N.I.O. Carlos III) and the Aladina Foundation, which helps to improve the quality of life of young patients suffering from cancer. 

The Foundation has also helped to build a children’s playground facility at a hospital in Santander with an open area dedicated to golf. The aim is to support young patients suffering from cancer and make their difficult stay more pleasant. Plans are in place to expand this to a second hospital in Madrid.

In 2017, the Foundation held the V Desafio, a series of charity golf events played at 25 courses all over Spain. The winning pair were invited to participate in the 2018 EurAsia Cup Pro-Am.

  • Launch of the “Seve & Jon golf for kids” sub-16 tour, featuring five qualifying events and a final.
  • The opening event will be held next Thursday at Real Golf de Pedreña.

Jon Rahm and Seve Ballesteros’s three children, Javier, Miguel and Carmen, have joined forces in an initiative aimed at introducing the game of golf and its values to the younger generations. To this end, they are launching the “Seve & Jon golf for kids” tour for boys and girls under 16. The programme, comprising five qualifying events and a final, will be held at facilities across Cantabria, Navarre and the Basque Country.

The contestants will test their skills in three aspects of the game: distance, short game and putting. Each event is limited to a maximum of 120 participants by order of registration, and each player may enter only one qualifier. The contestants will compete under the following age categories:

 

  • Boys and girls 10 years and under (maximum handicap 54.0) – 25 players
  • Boys and girls 11-12 years (maximum handicap 48.0) – 25 players
  • Boys 13-14 years (maximum handicap 42.0) – 20 players
  • Girls 13-14 years (maximum handicap 42.0) – 20 players
  • Boys 15-16 years (maximum handicap 36.0) – 15 players
  • Girls 15-16 years (maximum handicap 36.0) – 15 players

Seve & Jon golf for kids schedule:

  • August 23 – Real Golf de Pedreña (Cantabria)
  • August 28 – Real Nuevo Club de Golf Basozábal (San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa)
  • August 29 – Club de Golf Larrabea (Legutio, Álava)
  • September 4 – Club de Golf Ulzama (Navarra)
  • September 5 – Real Sociedad de Golf de Neguri (Getxo, Vizcaya)
  • Final event presided by Jon Rahm TBD in December at Meaztegi Golf (Ortuella, Vizcaya)

Participants must sign up through their respective Autonomous Golf Federation. All registration fees – €15 – will be donated to the Aladina Foundation, a cancer support group offering a holistic approach of care for young cancer patients and their families.

The format of each event consists of three contests – distance, short game and putting – for all the participants. This format is designed to create an enjoyable experience in order to attract the kids to the game of golf and its inherent values. Points will be awarded for performance in each contest, and the total number of points will make up the player’s score.

There will be trophies for the first three in each category, who will be entitled to enter the final event at Meaztegi Golf (Ortuella, Vizcaya), hosted by Jon Rahm and Seve Ballesteros’s children in December. Every participant will receive a gift.

Besides the full involvement of leading actors, Jon Rahm and Javier, Miguel, and Carmen Ballesteros, as well as the support of Tamoin, the “Seve & Jon golf for kids” sub-16 tour enjoys the collaboration of TaylorMade, the Royal Spanish Golf Federation and the Autonomous Federations of Cantabria, Navarre and the Basque Country.

Jon Rahm: “I am honoured to launch this golf tour for children and to be part of this great opportunity of promoting our sport. I have said many times that Seve means everything to me, he was my hero and he is a truly indisputable benchmark in Spanish golf. I took up golf thanks to Seve; he inspired me to be where I am today, so I am proud and excited to share this initiative that bears his name. We have selected an enjoyable format because we want the kids to have fun and want them to come back. A very special thank you to Javier, Miguel and Carmen for their support, for including me in this project, and for making another dream come true. Best of luck to all the participants and see you in December!”

Javier Ballesteros: “One of the key objectives in our father’s career was promoting golf. Carmen, Miguel and I are most grateful to Jon for joining this project. Jon is doing incredible things in golf and we are delighted to share with him this initiative that would make our father proud. The aim of Seve & Jon golf for kids is to introduce golf to children, to inspire them, and to teach them the values of sport following the example set by our father and by Jon. We are really excited by this unique project.”

Sir Nick Faldo today announced that the 2018 Major Champions Invitational has reached 19 major champion teams, completing the lineup for next month’s tournament. The inaugural event will be played March 12-14, 2018 at Bella Collina in Montverde, Florida.

2018 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk recently rounded out the already impressive lineup of major champions for the junior tournament created by PGA TOUR pro Sir Nick Faldo. Furyk, a former FedExCup Champion, has 17 PGA TOUR wins, including the 2003 U.S. Open Championship.

Joining Furyk and the previously announced major champions are World Golf Hall of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, 2016 U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson and Tony Jacklin, also a World Golf Hall of Fame member and the most successful European Ryder Cup Captain in history.

“The response from major champions and sponsors for this first-year event has far exceeded any expectations we had going in,” said Faldo. “Their support is key to helping make a positive impact on the juniors competing, and providing them with a one-of-a-kind, world-class experience. I couldn’t be more excited about these 19 teams.”

In addition to tournament host Sir Nick Faldo, the complete list of 2018 participating/represented major champions is:

Seve Ballesteros, Keegan Bradley, John Daly, Jim Furyk, Tony Jacklin, Dustin Johnson; Nancy Lopez, Rory McIlroy, Jack Nicklaus, Jerry Pate, Justin Rose, Adam Scott; Annika Sorenstam,  Jordan Spieth,  Henrik Stenson, Payne Stewart, Tom Watson and Mike Weir                                 

About the Major Champions Invitational

The Major Champions Invitational is a tournament created by World Golf Hall of Fame member and six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo. An extension of the Faldo series, the event provides major champions an opportunity to mentor and inspire the next generation of players while giving back to the game. The inaugural event will be played March 12-14, 2018 at Bella Collina in Montverde, Florida. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Faldo Trust for Tomorrow’s Children Inc., a U.S. 501c3 organization. The Major Champions Invitational is a made-for-TV event which will air on CBS on Saturday, August 11, 2018, preceding coverage of the 2018 PGA Championship. For more information, visit http://www.majorchampionsinvitational.com/

Tommy Fleetwood wins Seve Ballesteros Award for the first time

Fleetwood triumphed in Abu Dhabi and France in 2017 on his way to winning The Race to Dubai

Award, voted by European Tour players, recognises the legacy left to the game by Ballesteros

Tommy Fleetwood has been awarded The Seve Ballesteros Award – formerly the Players’ Player Award – winning the 2017 vote by his fellow professionals at the end of a breakthrough season which saw him claim the Race to Dubai for the first time in his career.

The award is voted for by every European Tour Member at the end of a season and carries the name of the legendary Spaniard, who remains one of golf’s most inspirational icons and will always be considered one of the European Tour’s greatest ever ambassadors.

Fleetwood started the season by clinching his second European Tour title at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship ahead of a star-studded field, and continued his good form in the weeks to follow with runner-up finishes at the WGC-Mexico Championship and Shenzhen International.

It was an impressive one shot victory at the HNA Open de France in July – the second Rolex Series event of the year – which had the 26 year old marching towards his best season yet on the European Tour. Fleetwood was in contention for his first Major win at the U.S Open at Erin Hills, eventually securing a fourth place finish, and then went on to add his name to the history books, carding a course record 63 on the formidable Carnoustie during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

It would be a year to remember for Fleetwood as he broke inside the top 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career and produced ten top-ten finishes to see him sit just 256,737 points ahead of his fellow countryman Justin Rose going into the season-end DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

The Englishman finished tied 21st, and in doing so, became the first Englishman since Luke Donald in 2011 to win the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and sign off the year as European Number One.

Fleetwood said: “Winning the Seve Ballesteros award has actually made me the most emotional out of all the things I’ve won. It is voted for by the players and for me there’s still so many guys that when I come out, I was looking up to and you watch people on the range and you try to learn from them.

“I’ve made a lot of friends, and I think for people to vote for me as Players’ Player of the Year is just something else. It’s different to anything I’ve achieved before. It’s a very flattering and very humbling.”

Fleetwood was presented with his award by European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley and Tournament Committee Chairman David Howell, during his media conference at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.

Pelley said: “Tommy had a remarkable season on the European Tour and is a truly deserving winner of The Seve Ballesteros Award. He has always been a popular figure among his peers and we have all enjoyed watching his rise through the golfing ranks over the past 18 months.”

Howell added: “Watching the diligent way you’ve gone about being a professional golfer over the years, being so disciplined, dedicated and driven, it’s very fitting that you went on to have the amazing year that you had last year.

“The European Tour’s proud to be a tour that allows people to play and rise to the top of the game. You’ve done that mainly on The European Tour and you’ve become a star of world golf. You’re a great character for the game and it’s with pride that we have you as a European Tour Member. Congratulations, it’s very well deserved.”

Javier Ballesteros, Seve’s eldest son, said: “It is great to see Tommy Fleetwood receiving the Players’ Player of the Year Award, now the Seve Ballesteros Award, in honour to our father. He’s had a sensational year, not just because he has won twice but mainly for his consistency and the way he has played all season. My brothers, Miguel and Carmen, and I are delighted, we think he is a great competitor who has also achieved the recognition of his fellow professionals”.

The Seve Ballesteros Award – an impressive silver and gold circular plate 46cm in diameter – has the names of all the European Tour members who have won Major Championships, starting with Seve’s own Open triumph at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 1979, inscribed around the central image which is of his famous fist-pumping celebrations on the 18th green of the Old Course at St Andrews after his Open win there in 1984.

It also has the names of all the previous winners of the European Tour Players’ Player of the Year award inscribed around the outer circle, those being: Padraig Harrington (2008), Lee Westwood (2009), Martin Kaymer (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011, 2014 and 2015), Luke Donald (2012), and Henrik Stenson (2013, 2016).

Finally, around Seve’s central image is a quote from the European Tour’s founding father, the late John Jacobs OBE, whose words sum up how most people in the game felt about the Spaniard: It simply says: “Seve’s supreme talent, flair and passion for golf inspired millions around the world.”

Researchers have identified a new protein – called RanBP6 – that has a tumour suppressor activity through the modulation of EFGR expression

Reconstitution of RanBP6 in a mouse xenograft model leads to reduction in tumor growth

A group of researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have identified a protein called RanBP6 as a new regulator of EGFR. In a paper published in Nature Communications they show how silencing of RanBP6 promoted glioma growth, by upregulating EGFR expression. Moreover, reconstitution of RanBP6 in a mouse xenograft model leads to reduction in tumor growth. Authors state that these findings might have “important clinical implications”.

Histology of a glioblastoma induced by the silencing of RanBP6 / CNIO

Malignant brain tumors represent about 3% of the known cancers and every year about 100,000 new cases are diagnosed worldwide. Glioblastoma is the most common and lethal primary central nervous system tumour in the adults. A decade of studies has underlined the complexity of the glioma genome, however, the functional significance of the vast majority of the genetic alterations remains elusive.

The Seve Ballesteros Foundation-CNIO Brain Tumor Group, headed by Massimo Squatrito, in collaboration with the laboratory of Ingo Mellinghoff at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York (USA), has now uncovered a novel mechanism that contributes to prevent glioblastoma development.

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) plays a critical role in normal development and in human cancer. EGFR is one of the first receptor tyrosine kinases linked to human cancer and represents an important drug target in oncology. Aberrant activation of EGFR in cancer stimulates tumour growth and is primarily attributed to increased gene copy numbers or gain-of-function mutations. However, it can also result from defects in EGFR feedback regulation.

Barbara Oldrini and Wan-Ying Hsieh, co-lead authors in the study, have discovered a novel layer of complexity in the regulation of EGFR. Oldrini and colleagues have identified a previously uncharacterized protein – RanBP6 –, as a modulator of EGFR expression. The authors show that RanBP6 is an importin family member that regulates the nuclear import of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). RanBP6 silencing impairs STAT3 nuclear translocation, leading to transcriptional depression of EGFR and increased EGFR pathway output.

“Our studies showed for the first time that STAT3 is a direct inhibitor of EGFR expression. I believe this has important clinical implications: STAT3 inhibitors are currently being investigated for the treatment of glioblastoma and other tumor types. Inhibiting STAT3 signaling could lead to an undesired activation of EGFR signaling”, says Massimo Squatrito.

Focal deletions of the RanBP6 locus were found in a subset of glioblastoma patients and silencing of RanBP6 promoted glioma growth in glioma mouse model, by upregulating EGFR expression. Moreover, reconstitution of RanBP6 in human glioma cell lines that lack its expression lead to reduction in tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model.

Our results provide an example of EGFR deregulation in cancer through silencing of components of the nuclear import pathway. We have identified a new link between the Ran-GTPase nuclear transport pathway and key cancer signaling pathways which warrant further study as inhibitors targeting nuclear transporters enter clinical evaluation as cancer therapeutics, says Barbara Oldrini.

This research was supported by the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, the National Brain Tumor Society, the National Institutes of Health, the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Foundation, the Cycle of Survival, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Sontag Foundation.

For more information, please contact:

Communications Departmet

Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO)

T +34 91 732 8000

comunicacion@cnio.es

Henrik Stenson is the first recipient of the newly named Award

Award recognises the legacy left to the game by Ballesteros

Renaming of the award comes in the year when Ballesteros would have been 60

The European Tour is today delighted to announce that the annual Players’ Player of the Year Award has been renamed The Seve Ballesteros Award.

The award is voted for by every European Tour Member at the end of a season and will now carry the name of the legendary Spaniard, who became the first European golfer to win the Masters Tournament in 1980, and who repeated the victory three years later.

The first recipient of The Seve Ballesteros Award will be Sweden’s Henrik Stenson who was the overwhelming winner of the 2016 vote by his fellow professionals at the end of a season which saw him claim his first major title in the Open Championship at Royal Troon as well as win the Race to Dubai for the second time in four seasons.

Stenson said: “Having won the Players’ Player of the Year award once before I know how special this award is. I am truly honoured to be the first player to receive it after it has been renamed The Seve Ballesteros Award. Seve was one of my idols and an icon of the game, which makes it that much more special to receive this from my peers.”

The announcement comes three weeks before the annual gathering for the season’s first Major Championship at Augusta National and was made by European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley at a gathering at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, the venue where Ballesteros won his 50th, and last, European Tour title in the 1995 Open de España. It is doubly appropriate as it also comes in the year when Ballesteros, who died in 2011, would have celebrated his 60th birthday – on Masters Sunday, April 9.

Aside from his Masters triumphs, Ballesteros won the Open Championship on three occasions – at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 1979 and 1988, and at St Andrews in 1984 – and was also hugely influential in helping make The Ryder Cup the global golfing spectacle it is today.

He played eight times against the United States, winning 22 ½ points from 37 matches, and struck up a partnership with compatriot José Maria Olazábal that, to this day, remains the most potent in Ryder Cup history.

He also went on to become the first player from Continental Europe to captain a Ryder Cup side which he did in his own swashbuckling and flamboyant manner at Valderrama in 1997, leading Europe to a memorable 14 ½ – 13 ½ triumph.

Javier Ballesteros, Seve’s eldest child, who will officially present the award to Stenson during this year’s first Rolex Series event on the European Tour – the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club – said, “On behalf of my brother Miguel, my sister Carmen and myself, I would like to thank everybody at the European Tour, and Keith Pelley in particular, for renaming the Players’ Player of the Year Award as The Seve Ballesteros Award.

“It is a huge tribute to our father which will continue to keep his legacy alive. We are thrilled with the idea that the award voted for by the players themselves will be the one that lives on into the future and bears his name.

“Our father grew up and developed as a player on the European Tour and I’m sure he would be thrilled and very proud of such a recognition.”

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “No golfer did more to popularise the game in Europe than Seve Ballesteros and it is a great privilege to be able to ensure that his name will live on, on the European Tour, with this award.

“He was one of the most talented and exciting golfers ever to play our great sport and above all he was a players’ player, which is what makes this award even more appropriate. Special thanks must go to Javier Ballesteros who has been gracious and helpful in the discussions we have had in recent months and who is a credit not only to his late father, but to the whole Ballesteros family.

“It is also fitting that the inaugural award goes to Henrik Stenson following his win in last year’s Open – the major championship won three times by Seve himself – and in a thrilling manner at Royal Troon that was reminiscent of the great man at his best.”

The Seve Ballesteros Award – a glittering silver and gold circular plate 46cm in diameter – has the names of all the European Tour members who have won Major Championships, starting with Seve’s own Open triumph at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 1979, inscribed around the central image which is of his famous fist-pumping celebrations on the 18th green of the Old Course at St Andrews after his Open win there in 1984.

It also has the names of all the previous winners of the European Tour Players’ Player of the Year award inscribed around the outer circle, those being: Padraig Harrington (2008), Lee Westwood (2009), Martin Kaymer (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011, 2014 and 2015), Luke Donald (2012), and Stenson himself in 2013.

Finally, around Seve’s central image is a quote from the European Tour’s founding father John Jacobs OBE, who sadly passed away in January, but whose words sum up how most people in the game felt about the Spaniard; It simply says: “Seve’s supreme talent, flair and passion for golf inspired millions around the world.”