Tributes to Seve pour in

Tributes to Seve Ballesteros are pouring in from the world of golf.


The golf great died at age 54, and leaves behind a legacy in the game that includes his five majors and fiery passion.

Here are some of the tributes:

"With the passing of Seve Ballesteros, the Masters Tournament loses one of its great champions. Best known for his fearless and heroic play, Seve annually showcased his brilliance at Augusta National, much to the enjoyment of the millions of fans he inspired around the world. He leaves an indelible mark on the history of our Tournament and will be dearly missed."

-- Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament

"All of us at the PGA Tour are very saddened to learn of the passing of Seve Ballesteros. Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the Ballesteros family and his many fans during this very sad time.

For more than 30 years, Seve had a large impact on the game and inspired many players with his creativity and flair on and off the golf course. A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Seve was truly an international icon, winning 87 tournaments worldwide, including five major championships.

His influence on the Ryder Cup was transformational, as his exceptional abilities as a player helped lead to the inclusion of continental European players, which up until 1979 had been excluded from the team made up of those from Great Britain and Ireland. Some of the greatest moments in Ryder Cup history featured Seve, either as a player on one of the eight teams he played on or as captain of the victorious 1997 team in his home country of Spain.

Seve Ballesteros' impact on golf will be felt long into the future, and we join his family and many friends in mourning his passing."

-- PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem

"I am deeply saddened by the news on the passing of Seve.  He had a real impact on me and on my life in this sport.  He was a leader; bringing the spotlight to the European Tour, paving the way to European success at the Masters and bringing his relentless passion to the Ryder Cup.   Today I would call him, Cirque du Soleil.  For golf, he was the greatest show on earth.   I was a fan and so fortunate I had front row seat."

-- Nick Faldo, three-time Masters champion

"I was deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Seve Ballesteros. I always enjoyed spending time with him at the Champions dinner each year at the Masters. Seve was one of the most talented and exciting golfers to ever play the game. His creativity and inventiveness on the golf course may never be surpassed. His death came much too soon."

-- Tiger Woods, four-time Masters champion

"Today, golf lost a great champion and a great friend. We also lost a great entertainer and ambassador for our sport.

"I have always had wonderful respect for Seve's ability, how he played the game, and the flare he brought to the sport while achieving the success he did. It was his creativity, his imagination, and his desire to compete that made him so popular not only in Europe but throughout American galleries, too. ...

We can only imagine how difficult this battle has been for him and his family the last few years, but I know Seve faced it with the same grit, fight and spirit he approached his golf career. We had the opportunity to honor Seve at the Memorial Tournament last year, but it was truly all of us who were honored. Although he was unable to travel to Ohio, he sent a video that was simply terrific. It had humor; it had emotion; it had Seve's touch. We can not honor and celebrate Seve enough, because he has meant so much to the game of golf and to all of us who love this sport. As I said, Seve was the heart of the Ryder Cup for decades. And speaking on behalf of my wife Barbara, today Seve and his family are very much in our hearts, on our minds, and in our prayers."

-- Jack Nicklaus, six-time Masters champion




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