Familiar fervor is not there

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CARNOUSTIE, Scotland - The Spanish eyes that always came to life whenever Seve Ballesteros faced an impossible shot were soft and sad. The man who bounced on the balls of his feet when he won at St. Andrews sat calmly at a table to announce that his career was over.

Seve Ballesteros announced his retirement from golf on Monday.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Seve Ballesteros announced his retirement from golf on Monday.

"I don't have the desire," Ballesteros said.

Ballesteros officially retired from golf on Monday, ending a charismatic run filled with spectacular shots that carried him to a record 50 victories on the European Tour, five major championships and a Ryder Cup career that helped Europe shed its underdog image.

He hasn't been a factor the past decade because of back injuries.

In 1980, Ballesteros became the youngest Masters Tournament champion (23) until Tiger Woods came along. This year, he returned to Augusta National Golf Club one final time. He had rounds of 86-80 to finish in last place.

Ballesteros was pure magic after missing the cut in 1975 at Carnoustie in his first major. The next year at Royal Birkdale, the 19-year-old Spaniard threaded a shot through the bunkers and wound up sharing second place with Jack Nicklaus, finishing behind Johnny Miller.

By then, everyone knew he was special.

Asked to choose some of his favorite memories, the list was too long.

"I hit so many good shots and so many good things happened, it's hard to describe how good it feels," Ballesteros said. "It was great."


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