• 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.”

Long-term young patients will be able to practice golf in the Hospital’s playground.

José Guerrero, Vicepresident Asociación Buscando Sonrisas; Iván Ibáñez, Secretary Association Buscando Sonrisas; Nacho Quijano, President Association Buscando Sonrisas; Javier Ballesteros, President Foundation Seve Ballesteros; Esther Silvan, her son is at Hospital Valdecilla’s Hematology Unit

he Seve Ballesteros Foundation will give the chance to discover golf to children undergoing treatment for extended periods at Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital in Santander. Thanks to the collaboration agreement with the Association Buscando Sonrisas (Searching for Smiles) and the support of Mercedes-Benz Spain, golf will be fundamental for leisure and entertainment of sick children, for the first time in our country.

The new playground facility will open officially tomorrow with a total area of 230 square meters, of which 79 will be dedicated to golf. This is the first initiative nationwide aimed to introduce golf activities within a hospital facility in order to support children’s recovery, while making their stay more endurable. The playground will also include swings, table football, table tennis and a play area.

Long-term young patients at Santander’s hospital will be able to take up golf through adapted programs led by Jesús Rodríguez, who has extensive experience in teaching golf to children. It is an open area of artificial grass, which can be adapted to practice the different parts of the game. The idea is to start playing golf through games while introducing new challenges every week to keep them ‘hooked’, such as putting, chipping and driving competitions using foam balls, nets and velcro targets“, said Jesús.

The Seve Ballesteros Foundation and the Association Buscando Sonrisas (Searching for Smiles) signed an agreement last March committed to launch this initiative, which is supported by Mercedes-Benz Spain.

Reiner Hoeps, President of Mercedes-Benz Spain: We met Seve’s children two years ago and since then, we have worked with their father’s Foundation. He was a real fighter, a pioneer who opened many doors in golf, who believed in the values of the sport and impressed the whole world. Mercedes-Benz has supported golf for a long time through sponsoring players and competitions in many countries, in addition to our MercedesTrophy national circuit, with the outstanding presence of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation. This year’s winners were invited to live an unforgettable experience: a visit to Seve’s trophy room, the Sancta Sanctorum of a unique and exceptional sports figure“.

Javier Ballesteros, President of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation: “My brothers and I are very excited about Valdecilla Hospital golf initiative, which meets the goals of our fathers’ Foundation. He would be very pleased. We are proud that golf can be part of the entertainment for children who are in need of support to fight illness with determination, perseverance and discipline. Practicing golf will certainly give them these values. We are very grateful to the Association Buscando Sonrisas and all entities involved for inviting us to join this project, and to Mercedes-Benz for their constant support to the Foundation”.

 

 

It was four years ago today that we lost Seve Ballesteros. In memory of the great man, we have compiled some great photos of the 50-time European Tour champion.

1. Young Seve

Seve competing in the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth Club in 1976. While he didn’t win that week, he did go on to claim 50 European Tour titles over the next 19 years


2. Seve and Ollie

An early photo of Seve sheltering from rain alongside his good friend José María Olazábal. Three years later they would pair up together for the first time at The 1986 Ryder Cup. The duo went on to play 15 Ryder Cup matches together, winning 11, drawing two and losing two. The most successful partnership in Ryder Cup history

3. On the range at Augusta 

Seve, his coach Mac O’Grady and his caddy Billy Foster prepare on the range at Augusta ahead of the 1994 Masters. The video technology might have changed but the caddy outfits haven’t!

4. Escaping from the crowds

A 22 year old Seve emerges from the crowd on the final hole of The 1979 Open Championship at Royal Lytham Golf Club. Two shots later he would secure his first Major title, beating Jack Nicklaus and Ben Crenshaw by three shots

5. Leftie

He may have found the trouble more than most players but no one scrambled better than Seve. Here he escapes, left-handed, from the rough on the 18th hole of his match against Ernie Els in the 1994 Toyota World Match Play Championship

6. Receiving some bad news

Seve was often in need of a ruling and he knew the rules better than most players but in this instance at Wentworth, European Tour referee John Paramor is the bearer of bad news

7. The rake shot

Seve was never shy when it came to entertaining the crowds. Seen here at the EMC Skills challenge before the 1999 Volvo PGA Championship, Ballesteros showed off by escaping a green side bunker with a rake

8. Fairway bunker, fairway wood

Few players could hit the escape shots that Seve hit but even fewer would even attempt them. At the 1997 Canon European Masters Ballesteros found this lie in a fairway bunker. Many may have just wedged back to the fairway but not Seve, he used a fairway wood and took aim at the green

9. The miracle escape

A few years before at the same event, Seve hit one of the most incredible escape shots of his career. Having birdied five holes in a row to tie the lead, Seve drove his ball on the last hole in the trees behind a wall. Despite Billy Foster, his caddy at the time, urging him not to Seve took on the impossible, hit it under the tree, over the wall, and just short of the green. He then, of course, chipped in for birdie. “There is not a chance in the world that anybody else would have considered that shot let alone played it,” Foster said. ” It was simply miracle stuff. Genius”

10. Seve at St Andrews 

Perhaps the most famous victory of Seve’s career came at the Home of Golf. He entered the final round two shots behind Tom Watson and Ian Baker-Finch but by the time he walked across the Swilcan Bridge he had a one shot lead. One famous birdie putt and celebration later and he had won his fourth Major championship

11. Seve at Pebble Beach

There are very few photos of Seve at Pebble Beach but this one is pretty special. He and caddie Billy Foster take a moment to enjoy the the view from the fairway on the par four eighth hole during the 1992 US Open

12. Captain Seve

No one enjoyed the Ryder Cup more than Seve Ballesteros and this photo shows a moment of celebration between him and Ian Woosnam as they toasted a famous victory at The 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill Golf Club

13. Seve in a crowd

Seve was beloved by British golf fans. They would flock to Open Championships and European Tour events to see the matador-like flair of the Spaniard. This photo was taken during the first round of The 1988 Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club

14. All eyes on Seve

Thousands of fans gather for the play-off at the 1991 Volvo PGA Championship on the first hole at Wentworth, where Seve battled Colin Montgomerie for the title. This five iron from 220 yards would finish three feet from the hole and secure the win for Ballesteros. Many consider it one of best shots in European Tour history

15. An intimate lesson from Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo helping Seve Ballesteros on the range at the 1992 Johnnie Walker World Golf Championship at the Tryall Golf Club in Jamaica. We’re not too sure why Seve isn’t wearing any trousers

16. Seve the magician

Ballesteros entertains guests at a clinic ahead of the 1988 European Open at Walton Heath Golf Club

17. Between the legs

And if you thought off the knees was too easy, here’s Seve during a practice round at The 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale escaping a green side bunker between his legs

18. Seve in the gym

In an effort to keep fit Seve installed a personal gym in his home in Pedrena in Spain. Here he is at 38 years old running on his treadmill preparing for the 1996 European Tour season

19. Victory for Seve 

A young Jesper Parnevik looks on as Seve celebrates holing the winning putt at the 1992 Turespana Open de Baleares at the Golf Santa Ponsa in Spain

20. Farewell to the Open

In 2006 Seve bid an emotional farewell to The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club alongside his son, Javier, on the bag. He finished his career having won the Claret Jug three times with 28 appearances in total at The Open

*Photos by

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