Severiano Ballesteros took the world of golf by storm and transcended the sport with his magnetic personality and sublime skill. Gary Lineker presents this heart-warming tribute.
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There have been people who have an ability, for whatever reason,
whether it's within them, or what they do or what they say, to inspire others.
And Severiano, whether he knew it or not,
certainly created that image and we loved him for it.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure we welcome,
live from his home in Pedrena, Spain, Severiano Ballesteros.
At the 2009 Sports Personality Of The Year
I had the privilege to make that special introduction.
Looking back, perhaps it wasn't so much an introduction as a farewell.
This would be a last ovation for Seve.
There are many ways to play golf.
Not necessarily has to be Pinehurst or Augusta or St Andrews.
You can build your own golf course by using your imagination, that's all.
Simple as that. And you can have fun!
He brought so much passion and joy to the game of golf.
He was European golf. He was the man.
Suddenly, a matador arrived on the golf course.
He was arrogant like one, he looked like one, he had the face of one.
He looked fantastic.
So good looking it wasn't true.
He was like Georgie Best in his prime.
He was just so good looking then.
You'd see women just fall at their feet.
When I first saw him he was still in his prime.
I was just watching him and Ollie go round the golf course. I wanted to learn it by watching.
That lovely smile was there for one reason,
because he has a great sense of humour.
Stay still, if you don't mind, please.
I know you're nervous, but I am too.
Apart from an inspirational golfer, I remember Seve as a vibrant character.
He was the same man on the golf course as he was off it.
I call him the ultimate warrior.
He never talked about the worst, but I'm convinced that he knew.
And he always tried to transmit patience and positive things
He always tried to keep fighting,
going places, promoting his foundations.
My relationship with him has been a very special one
through all these years.
He's been my mentor and I owe him a lot.
For me it's emotional to talk about him.
Because of him we know golf in Spain.
Seve died at the age of 54 in early May 2011
after a two and a half year fight against cancer.
His funeral took place in his small hometown of Pedrena,
near Santander, in Northern Spain.
Welcome to Pedrena, my brothers and sisters, my friends
It's a very sad day for golf.
He was a complete legend. He was the king.
The scattering of his ashes at the house was heartbreaking.
He was just a kid...
..in his village...
I think it's a fabulous tribute and a fabulous end
to a fantastic life
that the whole town, the townspeople,
turned out here in Pedrena in Spain.
I think it's a marvellous tribute to him.
I knew that would happen.
The laugh is they used to ring the bell
for every time he won a tournament. You could imagine the bell ringer,
he'd have one arm that was that big and the other one was a little skinny arm.
Excuse me, I'm trying to make fun of it for two seconds.
Seve has got some peace now and I hope he's up there,
Seve, getting the tour ready for us
and I'm hoping to have some battles with him again.
A fortnight later, I joined up with the cream of European golf
who'd come to honour Seve at Wentworth.
He was their inspiration, the winner of five Majors
and king of the Ryder Cup.
The first European to win the Masters,
the youngest player to win the Open in the 20th Century.
They'd also come to raise money for his foundation
and the fight against brain cancer.
Their rallying cry, "Ole, Seve!"
It was a grand day out for the golfing community
and the Ballesteros family.
BOTH SPEAK SPANISH
-So, how are you doing?
-Good, thank you.
Well, it's difficult times.
I feel Seve is around.
Obviously, he was very young
and very unlucky to suffer that disease.
He was an extraordinary man
and he's one of those people whose name will be alive forever.
He'll be immortal in many ways. People will always remember him
and always see the images, those memorable images of him.
At the age of 10 and in his first competition
for caddies at Royal Pedrena, after nine holes he was 51 over par.
It was a quiet start for someone who would one day be doing this.
His first shots were struck with an ancient three iron handed down by his brother Manuel.
Rusty old club, but a golden touch.
This was golf the Seve way.
It never ceases to amaze you! It's just a master at work.
I hope you think this is good stuff!
It just happens naturally.
My personality is that way.
Everything comes naturally.
Nothing is an act.
It just happens.
Where's the caddie?
It reminds me of Spain.
Everybody is walking on the fairways, on the greens.
You all know how well Seve hits a golf ball. I bet you will have never seen him do this.
Just watch this very carefully.
I was in France at an exhibition.
This is true. There's no trick there.
Even myself, I am surprised.
Once upon a time somebody asked me
from a newspaper to do one of those crazy little interviews they do
and they said, "If you weren't you, Des, which sports star would you like to be in the world?"
"Without doubt, Seve Ballesteros." They said, "Why?"
I said, "First of all I'd like to play golf like him.
"Secondly, I'd like to look like him.
"Thirdly, I speak a little Spanish, I'd like to speak Spanish like him.
"Fourth, I'd like to speak English like him."
He's got that wonderful... He was doing an advert at the time.
You know me, these guys do.
They told me I'm too old to learn this game.
HE SPEAKS SPANISH
He says maybe I should take up golf.
The slogan was, don't leave home without it, but he used to say,
-"Don't leave home without it."
Don't leave home without it.
When he did first leave home, what he took with him
was not as important as what he was leaving behind.
People must remember that I gave away my teenage years, you know?
That's a big price to pay, you know?
I'm not complaining, I'm just saying that this is what happened.
Seve was born in April 1957 into the Spain of General Franco,
a Spain isolated from the rest of Europe.
Beyond the Pyrenees, golf was no national sport, more a family affair.
Seve Ballesteros started out as a young man
with brothers in the world of golf.
His uncle, Ramon Sota, had played very well in the Masters.
He wasn't an academic, as such.
He was not going to be a surgeon or a lawyer, he had golf in his hand.
He had golf in his blood and in his hands and that's how he was going to make a living.
When he was a kid all he had was a three iron.
He' would knock balls over his farmhouse where he lived.
His mother and father used to go crazy, evidently,
because he'd be cutting a three iron up in the air
like an eight iron over the farm and then rushing round the back
and playing them back again.
TRANSLATION He would play by the light of the moon.
He would go to the course carrying a golf club and play until midnight.
-I remember one time Seve was supposed to be looking after
my cows, but they followed him on to the golf course.
Another time I was standing just here and he hit a golf ball towards me which hit me in the face!
Aged 16 he turned pro, but three years later,
in the long hot summer of 1976, Seve was playing in the Open at Birkdale.
After three rounds, he was the leader by two shots.
Seve, I think, was 19 years old
and give Johnny Miller a run for his money.
Playing the last round, on the first tee
I was convinced that I was going to win.
A lot of them feel out of place when they get into contention or...
..close to winning, but he never did.
He just thought he belonged there.
Oh ho! This really is good fun, isn't it?
I didn't know the British Open was so important.
Just to have so much attention from the media and from the people,
I liked it! I enjoyed it.
But I started hitting the ball all over the place
and then reality showed up!
There they go.
And where does Ballesteros go?
When you're a teenager and you've the chance to win your first huge
championship, the odds of playing good Sunday golf are pretty remote,
and that's what happened to Seve. Those towering high drives,
by the time they got on the ground were way out in the sand dunes.
It was funny. He didn't speak any English until he was six shots ahead
on 14, and then all this sudden he started speaking Spanish with me!
I didn't know he was could speak Spanish!
I had taken Spanish in school, so I communicated somehow,
or he understood it.
He said, well, you know, and you have to finish good on the last three holes
because Jack Nicklaus is already in the clubhouse and if you play well
the last three holes you can still finish second, is what he said.
Absolutely marvellous shot. That's not possible!
He didn't win, but came second in style.
That great for chip and run between the bunkers on 18,
man, that's a great shot!
I was very impressed with that!
In any language, golf had a new entertainer.
Seve was box office, sport and showbiz.
Hi, Bruce, how are you?
-How are you? What a day this is.
I mean, it shows a great turnout for him.
Well, he deserves it, he deserves it.
He'll be up there watching what's going on, you know?
-You knew him, didn't you?
-You knew Seve?
I played with him many, many times.
A partner like Seve Ballesteros, I mean, what more do you want?
This is a very tricky one.
-I think it's a little bit in the mind, also.
Did he teach you a bit?
Well, the thing he taught me is, and it's a thing I don't do enough
and I think we should all do, is positive thinking.
He was a great positive thinker, and he did say to me, "Bruce," he said,
"I never play a shot unless I can see it. If I can see it..."
He said, "If I can't see it, it won't hit a good shot."
-Did you ever see a shot?
-Yes, but they always went in the bushes or in the water!
He showed us green side bunker shots with a three iron.
We couldn't get it out with big wedges like
a big shovel, a spade, and get it out.
And he'd nip them.
My first memories of Seve are he was in a bunker and, er...
..he was hitting these amazing bunker shots
and the ball looked like they were putts.
They're almost going in.
I'm like, "This is impressive!" So I just sit there and watch.
We start talking and the he said,
"climb in the bunker and let me see your bunker game."
I hit a shot. I was happy to get on the green and I thought it was good.
He said, "Why does the ball spin, it spins to the right?"
I'm like, "Well, I cut across it." He said, "No, no, no, no."
You've got to read the putt
and it's got to roll into the hole. I'm like, "Roll in the hole!"
I'm trying to get close enough to make a putt, and he's thinking about holing it!
This is a different ball game! Then we had a contest.
I just got my ass kicked with a guy using a three iron. He just schooled me.
And I'm, like, "I have so far to go!"
You enjoyed being with him.
You loved playing with him.
-MOCK SPANISH ACCENT
-Jimmy, I don't think you do this right.
You put the hand here and do this.
Put the head down.
Oh, great shot. That's a good shot.
There's certain people in life have this little
aura around them.
Sinatra had it, Elvis Presley had it, Georgie Best had it and he had it.
It just oozed from him.
You see it in the world of show business, in the world of film,
somebody has something which is just a little bit extra than them.
I'm not even sure he knew he had it.
When you did meet him, I mean, he gave you that look in the eye, you know?
He was just a wonderful guy. And all the women melted around the place.
One person I was looking forward to meeting was Seve.
By gosh, he didn't disappoint. I can tell you where it was.
It was in the hotel at Carnoustie in 1999 and Seve was coming out of
his bedroom door with his young son and I was walking down the corridor.
And he introduced himself.
He knew who I was, for some reason, and he said to his son,
"This is the new chief," and laughed and walked away. It was magical.
It put me at my ease. I was quite nervous about meeting him.
In 1979, in the Open at Lytham,
golf's new pin up was in contention again.
The Open was, I think, where you got the best pictures of Seve.
Something about playing in Britain,
he treated it like his spiritual golfing home.
As we were going out on the last day, after about six holes
he looked at the leaderboard and it kept changing.
And he said, "The one with the biggest heart will win."
And I thought, "Well, you mean you, don't you!"
What a start!
Oh, what a beauty! Well, well, well, well, well!
He really is charged up. I suppose this is what it means by having your adrenalin flowing.
I became very famous as being the Open Championship playing from the car park and making birdies.
In reality, it's never been that way.
Golf is not how, it's how many, you know?
It doesn't make any difference to me.
That's perfect. Pin high.
20 or so feet to the right of the flag.
Somebody came out.
Two men came out and threw their arms around you
-when you came off the green. Who were they?
All the brothers are here.
I don't think I'm going to sleep very well tonight, but I don't care.
To have my three brothers there with me and supporting me
all the week, and when I won and just seeing all of them
running through the green
and giving me a big hug, and I saw my brother crying, I mean,
then I realised that I did something very important.
Have you met my sons? Sergio and Roberto.
My other son. Jaime. He's the second.
Gary Lineker. Barcelona.
-Yeah, I've seen you on TV.
-It's an important day for the family.
Very important, very important.
Very, very important.
This is obviously what Seve wanted.
He wanted to try and find a cure for this thing.
I'm very sad.
BOTH SPEAK SPANISH
Open champion, now for the Masters.
Always a special time.
Every year my birthday is during the Masters.
Sometimes at the beginning of the week,
sometimes in the tournament.
It's a nice way to gain age, you know?
He went to Augusta as Open champion.
He battled his way through people signing autographs
and he eventually made his way up to where I was standing,
saw me, came over, held out his right fist.
So I instinctively held out my hands and into it he dropped at least
half a dozen, maybe eight, pieces of paper.
And on each paper was a girl's name and a telephone number!
And I looked at him and he looked at me, and then he said, these people are crazy, eh?
And we both laughed.
And then, rather meanly I thought, he took them all back!
He had that effect. He was just magnetic.
And dead solid, perfect, yet again!
That was probably my best game
in my whole career for one week.
He sure can't be accused of backing off.
And that's a magnificent blow.
To become the first European to win the Masters, it was something special, you know?
Because the Americans always believed that it was not possible
for any European to win the Masters, it makes me feel very proud.
Severiano Ballesteros, son of a farmer, youngest of four
golfing brothers and still living under house where he was born.
The youngest winner of the Masters and the first from Europe.
When he won the Masters I was one of seven British journalists
who were invited to his rented house to help celebrate that victory.
He looked terrific with his green blazer on, so I said something like, "You look so healthy,"
you know, "if you were a labrador you'd have a wet nose."
And he said, "You think I'm healthy? Come with me."
And we went into the kitchen and the kitchen had a door that went into
the garage and they'd taken the door off and in its place was a trapeze.
And he said I must hang from this every morning for 20, 25 minutes
to try to ease the pain in my back.
So even then, at one of the most brilliant moments in his career,
he knew that his career was going to be short.
He was the pathfinder for a whole generation of European winners
at Augusta, and he showed them the way once more.
A spectacular recovery! You don't see flair like that very often.
1983 was a great victory because winning one time is difficult,
but winning again is more difficult, especially in the Majors.
And I played the last day with Tom Watson,
to me one of the best players of all time.
Head to head, it was fantastic.
I really opened the door for the rest.
They didn't feel that it was possible, you know?
That was kind of, er,
confidence for them, you know? It was good for golf and good for Europe.
My original jacket, you're not supposed to take it home with you,
but I stole mine. Mine is in my house.
I don't care, but it's there with all my trophies.
I have an extra one in the locker.
He's a millionaire, but, my goodness, he respected his upbringing.
-He never forgot his roots.
-And he valued so much.
-When he was being managed by
Joe Collett, Seve came and picked him up from the airport once
and he came in this, apparently, this complete banger.
And Joe was just going, this is ridiculous,
I can't be having my client be driving around in a banger.
So, lo and behold, set him up with a deal.
So, the next time he goes to visit Seve
and Seve said, "Yeah, I'll pick you up," he comes along in the banger again!
He was going, "Where's the Range Rover, Seve?"
He said, "Joe, too much petrol, too much petrol.
"I never use."
Yes, his car.
He probably sold it. Most probably!
Typical Seve, anyway.
Raising money, Seve day at Wentworth.
Good to be able to come along and support this day today?
It's great to be here, Gary. There's so much love and support for Seve.
I am somewhat, but my sister Margie is heavily involved in running
Seve's foundation, so it's nice to be here to support the family.
Where does he stand, do you think, in the great pantheon of golf?
It's hard to put a name or a number on it, but he is one of the all time greatest.
Especially from a European perspective.
He's probably the catalyst of what we're seeing now, I mean, Ryder Cup and winning Majors and really taking
it to the Americans, so I think he's been a huge part of the growth of European golf.
-Thank, Justin. Better let you get out there.
Everywhere he went there was this trail of people.
"Have you seen Seve play?" It was like a film star.
"Have you seen the latest Clint Eastwood movie?"
"Oh, he's fantastic," or whatever.
He had that something about him, but he could also be crotchety.
He had a lot of run ins with authority.
So, you've made the final decision and your final decision is not allowed the drop, right?
All right. That's fine.
-Thank you very much.
-I'm sorry, Seve.
-No, don't be sorry.
Of course he clashed with us.
In the 1981 season and in particular the arrival of, many would say,
the greatest visiting American Ryder Cup
team under David Marr, we played without Seve
because there had been a long dispute.
His management team felt that because he had become such a star
that he could basically determine
what each sponsor would have to pay for his services.
And that did not sit easily back in those days.
And for a period of six months of 1981 Seve really lived in exile.
He went off and played around the world, so, sadly and unfortunately,
Seve was not selected for that team.
I felt very bad for John Jacobs.
I mean, John Jacobs as captain.
But it was a very, very difficult time for Seve
and a very difficult time for the European tour.
We agreed by shaking hands to put that behind us and to go forward.
And from the moment that Tony Jacklin, most successfully, got Seve
to commit to playing in Tony's first team, the '83 matches,
Seve became synonymous with the Ryder Cup.
The famous one was when we narrowly lost in '83 at Palm Beach in Florida.
The first time we'd been that close.
I wasn't there, but actually there was an incident.
Obviously, Lanny Watkins hit his third
shot on the 18th. That's the one that Jack Nicklaus kissed the divot.
And he managed to be beat
Jose Maria Canizares and we lost at the Ryder Cup by one point.
As we went to the closing ceremony, everybody was kind of disappointed,
with the head held down, were looking at the floor.
I look back and said, "Hey, guys, why are you looking so down?
"I mean, this is really the first
"time that we have a chance to beat the Americans.
"We will get them next time."
That was sending the message to the rest of the team that we could win.
It was a turning point in terms of the Ryder Cup, 1983.
And, sure enough, two years later at the Belfry we won easily.
Not a million miles away, is it?
We've waited an awful long time.
I feel felt like I won another British Open.
I feel even better because I saw all the people. This is fantastic.
I mean, tremendous.
Better than winning the Open? Well, Seve would know.
Between the Ryder Cups of 1983 and '85 came the Open at St Andrews.
What applause, and it still isn't even the 18th hole.
1984, Seve at the home of golf.
They were made for each other.
I don't know if it was my desire to hole the putt,
the influence of my willpower, my energy or exactly what happened,
but at the final second it dropped.
The ball just dropped into the hole and then I, er...
..felt, this is it, I won the tournament!
No matter what Tom is going to do, I knew I was the champion.
That's why I was so excited and pumping and grabbing the caddie.
That was the best time and the best moment of my career.
He just did the amazing matador picture
when he went through the ball.
And then he stood there doing this for like...
I don't know how many seconds it was, but was enough to go right through the whole role of film.
You can almost see the steam being blown out of his nose.
Not that he's the bullfighter, he's actually the bull.
I think being a champion is...
Well, I start from the background that I have nothing.
I remember, I have no balls, no clubs, no money, nothing.
I used to make bets without having any penny in my pocket.
You have no choice, you have to win somehow.
Obviously, I became a tremendous competitor.
If he had a bad round when he was young
he used to go to bed, whatever time it was.
No food, just go to bed. That was it.
His face was as black as coal.
Because he didn't want to see anybody and nobody wanted to see him!
I've seen the guy
biting his grips in tears.
I saw him at Augusta when he pulled his
three wood second shot into woods on the left.
I heard a crack and I turned round and he's holding his jaw.
He punched himself that hard.
He wants to win. Wouldn't mind ruffling a few feathers along the way.
He was like the prize fighter in the ring, he wouldn't stand still.
He'd be moving around a lot... He wanted to dominate.
There were times when you walked to the first tee with Seve you knew he
was going to cut your heart out and just give it to you on the 18th
green when he's done with you and say,
"OK, I never really was on the golf course today, but I beat you."
And that's when you really had to have your blinkers on
because if you really watched the way he played you go,
"My gosh, how can this guy be shooting 67, 68, 66
"when he's hitting one or two fairways a round?"
We played Nick Price in the final of the World Matchplay
and it gets to the 13th hole and he says, "Have you got anything to eat?"
So I go in the bag and said, "There's some fruitcake."
So, in he goes, pops the fruitcake in.
Nick Price is at the top of his backswing and it goes down the wrong hole.
And he splurts out this big cough as Nick Price
is on the top his backswing and he duffs it in the front left bunker.
He gets through it nicely. But has he tweaked it?
I don't know whether he was disturbed. That could be in the sand.
Seve's like, "Oh, Jesus Christ, Nick, I'm so sorry."
So he goes to the referee and says, "Let him take the shot again."
And fair play to Nick, he says, "No, no, Seve, it's fine, it didn't put me off."
Seve had offered to let him half the hole, you know? He said, "No, it didn't affect me."
So, Nick comes out to 10 foot
and I'm at the back of the green and I go, "Seve,"
I said, "Give him the putt."
"What?" I said, "Seve, give him the putt.
"You know it makes sense, you know?"
He said, "No, no, no, Billy, I offered once, he didn't take it."
What a competitor!
No, no, he's had his chance, that's it.
-Tell me about this book, Bruce.
-We were coming back in the bus after playing,
and Seve said to Lee Trevino, "You know, Bruce is the best celebrity we've had.
"In the last three or four days, he is striking the ball very well."
So, Lee says, "I agree, I agree."
So I said, "If I type out a little letter, will you sign it for me?"
It says, "We, the undersigned, being of sound mind and body, do hereby
"solemnly swear and declare that Mr Bruce Forsyth is,
"in our opinion, the most proficient celebrity at the game of golf
"we have so far encountered during our stay at this pub."
And there it is, Lee Trevino and Seve Ballesteros.
I think he had a tremendous amount of self-confidence.
He was a shy man.
He didn't go around shouting the odds, or anything like that.
He kept himself to himself, but he did have a tremendous
belief in himself, almost superhuman belief in himself.
There was something in Seve that,
until 1986 when he dumped the ball in water at Augusta,
that he really, genuinely thought,
"If I decide I want to do this, it is going to happen."
And often, it did.
Ah, '86. That is one thing that I have in my heart still, you know.
To be honest, the death of my father really stopped me
from playing more, and I was feeling kind of a little bit down,
and I did promise my father.
I never thought he was going to die so early.
I say, "Dad, I want you to come to the Masters,
"because I feel I am going to win this year."
And unfortunately, he died 4th March,
and I guess that was the destiny for me not to win.
-He mishit it.
-That is the worst shot I've seen him hit.
-He put it in the water. Let go of the club, it looks like.
-Something happened there.
-Well, that's absolutely extraordinary.
I hit it in the water, and then three-putts 17.
-And that's it.
-That's the Masters.
And that's the Masters, you're right.
'Might the name Ballesteros be seen again on the leaderboard?
'Seve has two sons and a daughter, and golf is in the genes.
'On the other hand, he was not an easy act to follow.'
No me gusta mucho.
-Hablas ingles, no?
Let's talk English, because nobody understands otherwise at home.
So how old are you now, Miguel?
-So quite young, so perhaps you didn't see the very best of his game.
But the nice thing is, you can see so many films of your father, and I expect you feel good, yeah?
-There you are.
You young fellows, you don't see these sort of shots.
Seve was the most unpredictable player you could ever play against.
Most of us had maybe 20 or 30 different ways of shooting 65.
Seve has 1,500 ways of shooting 65.
Whenever Seve played golf, anything can happen.
I thought he was one of the most creative golfers that I have ever seen.
He hit the ball some places nobody could ever get out of,
and he always managed to get out of them.
He did it all time, so it was no big deal to him.
Week in, week out, he would hit it deep in the bushes or trees,
-and he would always find a way.
The only people that ever went deeper and more murky on a golf course than Seve
were the photographers,
because we would often have to be crouching inside the bush.
The excitement was if anyone was going to put it in a bush,
but try to play it out, this was your man.
It was so entertaining, but you just knew in your mind
when you were playing him that, don't ever think for one minute
because he's hit in the woods, that you have got an advantage.
Genius doesn't have rules. Genius makes its own rules.
He was a genius.
He hit the best shot I've ever seen in my life in Switzerland.
We were on the last tee, and typical Seve,
he hit it 80 yards, right behind a six-foot wall.
-Now he got underneath that, started it right.
-The there are some trees down there.
-Is that out of bounds?
-Has that gone out of bounds?
-'And he's down there,'
and he's down on his hands and knees. He's snorting.
And Billy Foster is caddying for him,
and Billy is going, "Come on, boss, chip it out, chip it out."
He was in there in the middle of the trees, and I pleaded with him four times.
"You are Seve Ballesteros, not bloody Paul Daniels.
"Just chip it out, please."
Everybody else would have chipped it out sideways,
pitched it on the green, two putts.
He said, "No, Billy, I see the shot." I said, "Just chip it out."
"No, no, No." And then he gave me the wave, "Billy, go away."
I remember Billy walking past, and there are a few bleeps in this.
He said, "No bleep-bleep-bleep chance."
The guy is clearly deranged. He's lost it.
No, he hadn't. He knew exactly what he was doing.
He got down, half a backswing with a wedge, he got it up over the wall,
through a tiny gap in the trees the size of a dinner plate,
over the swimming pool,
over some 60-foot pine trees that were in front of that.
And he landed five yards short of the green.
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Well, we haven't seen Seve like that since, well,
1984 at St Andrews, I think.
-Did he enjoy that?
-'And then he chipped in for birdie.'
I had to get down on my hands and knees and bow to him,
because, let's face it, he was a god, wasn't he?
There was one more major to be won, in 1988, back at Lytham.
The greatest I saw him play was at Lytham,
when Pricey and I and Seve went off,
any one of us with a chance to win the Open.
When you go onto the first tee,
you size up the guys you're playing with, look at them.
Some guys are fidgety, and some guys,
their eyes are darting all over the place.
And Seve was just so focused that day.
We had this battle, which I just loved every moment of,
and he did, too.
-What a fantastic stroke.
That was the day, it was the true Seve.
I've never seen a man peg it up, take a swing,
follow through and keep going, all in one motion.
It was quite something.
-Oh, look at that. Oh, yes.
This hole, certainly one that Seve will remember all his life.
He pieced together that round, and I said,
"That was the best round of golf I've ever seen."
-How do you like that, Senor?
-As soon as I hit it, I knew it was perfect.
-Seve is once more the champion.
On his own he won five majors, the one and only Seve.
But when it came to the Ryder Cup, he became one half of two,
a Spanish double-act in a team event.
Along came Jose Maria and Seve, and formed this partnership.
And they were remarkable in the way they went about their business.
To have those two going out
and leading in that era was just absolutely fantastic.
When I captained in '91, I certainly put them together.
They wanted to play together, and they wanted to play for Spain.
They were proud Spaniards.
My life wouldn't have been worth living if I had put Seve
and Olazabal with anyone else.
They both appreciated the other's skill,
and they had trust in each other.
If your job is to hit the fairway, but you missed the fairway.
Doesn't matter, I'll get you out of it.
They had this rapport that made it work.
My relationship with him
has been a very special one through all these years.
When I was 15 years old, he asked me
if I would play in a charity match against him at his home golf course.
And that is when everything started.
And I have learned so many things from him.
He has been my mentor in a way, and I owe him a lot.
Jose and I, first we know each other very well,
and we come from the same background.
I have a huge confidence with Seve, playing with Seve, because of that.
He tells me, "Don't you worry about anything. You just play golf. "I will take care of the rest."
That is what he told me on the first time, and I was shaking like a leaf.
I remember when I say, "How far you think I can read this putt?"
And you say, "Just a little bit to the right,"
and you say, "Be careful, be very careful, very fast."
-Just a minute. Just a minute!
And I would say, "That is really fast, isn't it?"
-And they hang on to win the match.
-And you holed the putt.
Thank God, otherwise... You would have hung yourself.
-There it was.
Ballesteros has had an incredible week here.
When we played at Kiawah, we, uh...
we have that incident with Chip Beck and Paul Azinger.
And they were three up,
and we called the referee.
And the referee say one thing, Chip Beck say another thing.
Azinger say another thing. And suddenly you say,
"OK, let's go and play. We're going to beat these guys."
We shot 31 on the back nine, that was fantastic.
-That's a fine shot. It could go in. What a shot!
That was the best nine holes we played together. It was fantastic.
-Knock it in. That's the match. What a turnaround.
What a tremendous game!
I have in my trophy room where we shake hands.
A very famous picture, it's in my trophy room.
There must have been a massive respect for Seve.
Oh, there was. There was. Huge. Huge.
I tell you what, it's the reason these guys
are living the way they do. It's because of him.
He had that much influence, do you think?
Oh, God, yes. And the rest.
I'm giving away my buggy tonight in the auction.
-Does that mean you've got to walk now?
-I have got to walk now!
It didn't do quite as many miles as Seve's buggy did back in '97.
-His was everywhere.
-It was. He was driving every which way.
But he did a great job as a captain.
De Espana, from Spain, Jose Maria Olazabal!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
He did a fabulous job, and on top of that, his players played well.
And they played well when they needed to.
He was always there. At the crucial moments, he was there.
It's just a shame that Seve's game had gone off by 1997,
because I think he wanted to be a playing captain.
And I think the European Tour wanted to take it to Spain for Seve.
Nevertheless, he threw himself into this captaincy.
He almost got too involved.
People forget he was only 41 when he captained that team.
And he wanted to play. That was the issue.
He wanted to play every shot for everybody. And I would rather him do mine,
he was much better than I was. "Go and play!"
You wanted to perform for him.
-It's all square.
It's not now!
And I think a little misjudgement from the Yankee Doodles.
Seve was off the charts when he was captain. It was so funny.
Jimenez was his vice-captain, and Carmen, who was his wife,
they would come down to breakfast, and they would be like this.
And I said, "What happened?"
He said, "He came to my room at four in the morning."
He says, "We have a team.
"We have four to put out," he says.
He has decided who is first playing, and he knows who is last playing.
He says, "We discussed for hours, two and three.
"Which way two and three is going to be played." You know?
He drove everybody up the wall.
Seve hadn't made up his mind until the last moment
who would play with whom in the matches,
and some players I could see were getting a bit...
You know, tense.
The beginning of the week was great.
"I don't want to put any pressure on you, I want you to relax.
"No pressure at all."
You then get to Saturday night. "We have to win!"
He says, "Now we have to try. We have to try really hard.
"I don't want you in the bunker. I don't want you to three-putt.
-"And don't hit the trees!"
His leadership throughout was extraordinary.
And one of the clever things Seve did in that tournament was, in the practice rounds,
he made them play for their own money.
And I think that gave them somewhat of an edge.
He engaged with the public and he got the team to engage
with the crowds which brought the team on side.
It was the atmosphere. It was electric, the whole way round.
He was quite something, as a captain.
Different style to yourself, was he?
Unique. How's that? We'll call him unique.
But passionate to the end. A passionate captaincy.
There's one captain, I believe, over the last 20 years,
that we've actually won the Ryder Cup for, as a captain.
And it was him.
'Seve has always been the backbone of the team,'
whenever I've been part of the Ryder Cup
and he was part of the Ryder Cup,
and that is something that I will always miss.
-By Jove, he didn't hold back on that!
Now, that's worth the price of your television licence,
to see that shot alone.
But playing golf like this took its toll,
especially on that old back of his.
You know, everything has a start and everything has to finish
and I guess that was my destiny.
In 2007, he retired and went home to Pedrena.
Oh, that's a good shot there.
It's on the green.
It's on. You see it?
See, the less I practise, the better I become.
I just find out that.
Life was not as simple as it seemed.
The son of a farmer had been divorced from Carmen,
the daughter of a major banker, for three years.
The family man, but also on his own.
What was it like growing up with an uncle as famous as Seve?
Well, he has given all of us lots of opportunities.
He always tried to protect his family very much.
As a golf professional, he was what everyone knows.
But as a person, those who had the opportunity to meet him,
he was very close and a very good friend of his friends.
He did not have many good friends.
He knew lots of people, but he had very few, but very good ones.
And he was someone who always tried to look after everyone.
'He would always ask me how my wife was,
'how my children were getting on.'
He came on the phone one day, pretty incensed,
because he felt that our rules officials had been on top of him,
he got a warning for slow play.
And I said, "can I just put you on hold for a second?
"My son is in the last 500 metres of this rowing championship."
He said, "Describe it to me."
So I described the race
and said they'd just won by the narrowest margin.
"What was it you wanted to talk to me about?"
He said, "It doesn't matter now. That's great, you've won."
I said, "I'll come and see you tomorrow morning before you tee off."
I never did find out what he was complaining about.
'He would say that the European Tour is a family and sometimes,
'like all families, we can have a little war.'
In the players' meetings, to me, he'd say,
"Ken, you have bad days, just like the caddies,
"And sometimes, the caddies have to go home."
'95% of the time, I love the bloke.'
5% of the time, I wanted to punch his lights out,
head-butt him. He drove you mad at times.
Just so demanding. After he won the Open, the next time I saw him
was three weeks later,
and he gave me a list of things I'd done wrong.
So I said, "It's a good job you won, otherwise we'd have been shot."
He said, "we're all in this together, we're a family."
He said, "I'm happy for you to join with me in my celebration,
"as I want to join with you when you have something to celebrate.
"If we have sadness, we share the sadness together, we are a family."
Very good indeed.
And so the final chapter begins.
This is Seve's last interview.
The man who could bend a small ball in flight was about to lose control.
With hindsight, it can be said that he'd not been himself for some time.
But who was looking back when the future was now so uncertain?
You never know what is going to happen tomorrow, you know?
'I was going through a nice summer and feeling great.
'I built nine holes here for myself. I was feeling very happy with myself'
and I went to Madrid to have lunch
with my son, Miguel, and my nephew, Ivan,
and all of a sudden, I didn't feel very well.
And... And I got dizzy
and so Ivan took me
to the emergency centre of La Paz.
They took some pictures of the head
and they found...
they found something there and they didn't like it.
They decided to do a CT scan and they confirmed
the idea of something in there was probably a tumour.
That means that their second aspect was to do an MRI,
and then they confirmed the diagnosis.
It was a brain tumour.
'When I really felt that I was in a dangerous situation
'was when I saw all my brothers and my nephews and everybody,
'and when you see so many people from the family, you must say,
'"Something is not right,"
'because otherwise they would not be here.'
I think Seve has a big personality.
I think one person that is similar to him,
and is in the top of the world,
'and fighting in this area of his life.'
'I have to spend'
72 days there.
That was very, very, very long, believe me.
'Patience has never been my strongest point.
'You know, to spend 22 days in intensive care
'and 72 days in one room,
'you need tremendous patience
'and there were times when it was tough.
'You can see I have a couple of little holes here.'
And my ear is... I have a big ear now.
Now I can hear the balls better when they hit the trees.
But...this is life.
One day you feel fantastic and the next day,
'you never know what is going to happen.
'What happened to me is...'
..this, I will call destiny.
One test that God is putting on me...
..and I'm winning.
Just going to hold 18 putt at St Andrews.
'Seve was someone...'
you could learn something from him every day.
Especially during those two-and-a-half years
where he faced a brain tumour.
And the way he... Obviously, he had his ups and downs,
but he faced that illness with a sense of humour.
'He had the strength to create the foundation that carries his name
'and things that leave all of us with a great memory of him.'
In many ways, he faced that challenge of cancer
like he played his golf,
with similar passion and that incredible spirit.
Before he was ill, he wanted himself to be remembered
as an artist, he used to say.
But after suffering a brain tumour,
I think he wants to be remembered as someone
'who fought a disease with lots of courage
'and also his foundation,'
he wanted to help others
and help the scientific community so others can benefit in the future.
What would live on?
Memories of his golf, of course,
-'He said this was probably
'the most important legacy he wanted to leave.'
Obviously, he has left a legacy that is there for all of us
with his golf, but he was very clear that once he became ill,
this was as important a legacy to him
as the one he left with golf.
Have a good day.
Thanks very much.
I met him in Madrid a few years ago before all of this
and I had... I was very lucky,
I had the chance to play golf with him.
'How he managed all these problems'
with cancer, with everything,
he fought it a lot,
and very much what he does, he shows to the rest of the people.
He was something really fantastic, and he is a fantastic example.
Nadal, he is a good friend of mine, yeah. I played golf with Nadal.
He's a good golfer. Yeah, Nadal.
Very strong, look at the muscles.
'He's been in the gym day and night.
'He's very strong, very, very powerful.'
A tremendous player.
He wrote you a note, but I can't read it, it's in Spanish.
'Is good to see you. Good luck.
'I will write to you some time in the future.'
A big hug, always, you know?
Nice guy, nice guy. Nice going at Wimbledon for him, fantastic.
And I have fish also, I like fish. I have fish in the lake.
Shall we go and have a look?
It's fantastic, yes.
'Seve was in great form which was nice to see.
'It was a lovely sunny day
'and his boys were with him. So we did the interview'
which was terribly sad at times
because I wanted to talk about this and suddenly he'd be crying,
'and you'd think, "Poor old, Seve. I'm going to stop."
'He wipes the tears away'
and then you start to cry
and you think, "This is becoming a bit of a handful here."
Despite all that, I came away, as you always did with Seve,
with this feeling of this warmth of spirit
and how he was going to fight this thing to the very bitter end.
Last year, there was a gathering of Open champions at St Andrews.
Seve could not be there.
But he did send a message.
I hope you enjoy the week at St Andrews
and good luck to everyone. I love you all.
'It was brilliant, pretty impactful.'
We all were taken aback by what Seve had to say
and how much it meant to him
to be a part of that collection of champions.
'That struck us all, we started talking about it, how unique it is'
to be a part of that kind of history.
We missed him. We really did. We missed his presence.
Forget the player, forget him hitting golf shots
and doing all the fantastic things that he did.
We missed him as a person.
It would be remiss of me at this time not to mention
the poster that was in our team room all week,
and all our good friends in the world of golf,
and we wish Seve Ballesteros a quick and complete return to health.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Seve never left Pedrena again.
But the master had one more message to deliver
to a new generation of Ryder Cup hopefuls.
'It definitely inspired me, because before that phone call,'
everyone knows what I said about the Ryder Cup being an exhibition
'and after that phone call from Seve, I remember thinking to myself,
"This is sort of a big deal, this thing."
'And he wouldn't get off the phone. It was just incredible.'
Monty was like, "Thanks, Seve."
And he goes, "No, no, let me finish, let me finish."
'And I think it also inspired everyone else.
'I felt we had an incredible captain, a great team,
'but that message from Seve'
was definitely in everyone's thoughts throughout the week.
He created this great passion and people loved him.
'A great difference between admiration and love
'and the golfing world loves Seve.'
'He loved the British public and the British public loved him.
'Even if there were other'
British golfers playing, everybody wanted Seve to win.
I was like it myself. I didn't care about anybody else.
Seve, you wanted him to win.
Seve was born in a land where golf was little known.
By the end of the 20th century,
he was voted Spain's sportsman of that century.
From teenage prodigy to five-time major champion,
from maverick to Ryder Cup hero and captain.
He was a force of Spanish nature,
forward-looking and yet haunted,
exuberant but brooding,
enchanting, outspoken, driven and humble.
I don't want to see people feel sorry for me.
I have been the luckiest person in the world.
I have so much luck and so much fun for so many years
that this thing that just happened to me is a very little thing,
and compared to other people that have tougher times
and they don't have the opportunity to live life so intensive,
as good as I did it.
So thank you very much and I love you all from my heart, thank you.
Sssh! Silence, please.
# People should smile more... #
It may not be easy to say adios without a tear,
but we shall try, Seve,
as we remember wonderful you and your wonderful life.
# ..I'm not saying there's nothing
# To cry for
# You've got
# Everything laid out for you
# Just close your eyes
# Take a deep breath
# And start another war
# Keep buying, keep moving
# It's gonna come
# One thing is certain
# I can't change the world
# It's just an observation
# I can't ignore... #
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Only the most charismatic are known by just one name. Known to his adoring public simply as 'Seve', Severiano Ballesteros took the world of golf by storm and transcended the sport, with his magnetic personality and sublime skill.
Presented by Gary Lineker, this heart-warming tribute celebrates Seve's life and features exclusive footage of the man himself.
Handsome, flamboyant and passionate, Seve strode the fairways for 30 years. He won the greatest honours in the game including three Open Championships and two Masters titles, often playing miraculous escape shots that held galleries in awe, from St Andrews to Augusta.
He became a European talisman in the Ryder Cup, on the winning side four times as a player, and memorably, once as a captain on the Spanish course of Valderrama.
Tragically at the age of just 54, Seve lost his painful battle with brain cancer earlier this year. His foundation had already raised millions for cancer charities, ensuring his legacy will live on.
Featuring contributions from Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Rafa Nadal, Jose Maria Olazabal, Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Greg Norman, HRH Prince Andrew , Sir Bruce Forsyth, Des Lynam and Peter Alliss.