Designed the Golf Course at: La Peraleja Golf.
Severiano "Seve" Ballesteros (born 9 April 1957) is a former World No. 1, who was one of the sport's leading figures from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s. He announced himself to the golfing world in 1976, when at age 19 he finished second at The Open Championship. Ballesteros won 5 major tournaments between the years of 1979 and 1988, including The Masters twice. He was also successful in the Ryder Cup, helping the European team to five wins both as a player and captain.
Due to back-related injuries, Ballesteros struggled with form during the 1990s. In spite of this, he continued to be involved in the game of golf, creating The Seve Trophy and running a golf course design business called Trajectory. Ballesteros eventually retired from competitive golf in 2007 due to continued injury and poor form.
Early life and career
Ballesteros was born in Pedreña, Cantabria, Spain. He learned the game while playing on the beaches near his home, mainly using a 3-iron given to him by one of his older brothers. His uncle Ramón Sota was Spanish professional champion four times and finished 6th in The Masters in 1965. Severiano's older brother Manuel finished in the top 100 on the European Tour order of merit every year from 1972 to 1983, and later became Severiano's manager. Brothers Vicente and Baldomero, and nephew Raúl are also professional golfers.
Ballesteros turned professional in March 1974 at the age of 16. In 1976, he burst onto the international scene with a second-place finish in The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club. He went on to win the European Tour Order of Merit that year, a title that he would win six times in total, including the next two years, which was a record at that time (a recorde since surpassed by Colin Montgomerie). In 1988, he led the Official World Golf Rankings at the end of the year; these rankings were not inaugurated until April 1986, but Ballesteros also led the McCormack's World Golf Rankings, published in McCormack's "World Of Professional Golf" annuals from which the official rankings were developed from 1983 to 1985.
Ballesteros went on to win five major championships: The Masters in 1980 and 1983, and The Open Championship in 1979, 1984 and 1988. His 1980 Masters win was the first by a European player, and at the time he was the youngest winner of the tournament, at 23 (though this record was broken by Tiger Woods in 1997). His 1979 win at The Open Championship similarly made him the youngest winner of the tournament in the 20th century and the first golfer from continental Europe to win a major since Frenchman Arnaud Massy won The Open in 1907.
He was also great at match play; he won the World Match Play Championship five times, and was a mainstay of the European Ryder Cup team for much of the 1980s and 1990s. He scored 20 points out of 37 matches against the United States and his partnership with fellow Spaniard José María Olazábal was the most successful in the history of the competition, with 11 wins and two halved matches out of 15 pairs matches. While Ballesteros was a member of European sides that won the Ryder Cup in 1985, retained the Cup in 1987 and 1989 and regained the Cup in 1995, the pinnacle of his career in the competition came in 1997 when he captained the winning European side at Valderrama Golf Club in Sotogrande, Spain. This was the first Ryder Cup ever held in continental Europe
Late career and retirement
In 1997, Ballesteros was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, joining greats such as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. He was instrumental in introducing The Seve Trophy in 2000, a team competition similar to the Ryder Cup pitting a team from Great Britain and Ireland against one from continental Europe. In 2000, Ballesteros was ranked as the 16th greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine; he was the top golfer from the continent of Europe.
Ballesteros had played sparingly since the late 1990s due to back problems and made his first start in years at the 2005 Madrid Open. He stated a desire to play more tournaments in the 2006 season. He entered the 2006 Open Championship, having played just one other event on the European Tour, The Open de France Alstom, where he missed the cut. He runs a thriving golf course design business, is divorced with three children and has been eligible for the Champions Tour and European Seniors Tour upon turning 50 in 2007. Ballesteros has been the captain of the European team in the Royal Trophy since its inception in 2006. He was announced again as non-playing captain of the 2008 European team to defend the Royal Trophy against the Asian team at the Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok.
After further recurrence of his back problems, which contributed to his finishing tied last in his only Champions Tour start, Ballesteros announced his retirement from golf on 16 July 2007, bringing down the curtain on an illustrious career.