Five-time major championship winner Severiano Ballesteros from Spain passed away on May 7. He was known primarily for his short game prowess, which many believe was the best the game had ever seen. Although the European Tour started play in 1970, Ballesteros was credited for taking the tour to the next level with his charisma and popularity. He was also instrumental in Europe’s success in the 1980s and 1990s against the United States in the Ryder Cup, and he unfortunately was seen as a “villain” at times by the Americans as a result. In 2008 he fell victim to a brain tumor, and from all appearances he looked to be recovering well before his family unexpectedly released an announcement saying he suffered a grave deterioration in his condition, after which he died the next day. Although others may come close or even match Ballesteros individually in the short-game, creativity, charisma, and competitiveness departments, it’s safe to say that no one has combined all of them together as he did, and he will be sorely missed on the world golf scene.
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