SEVE BALLESTEROS d2011. Spanish professional golfer and a World No1 who was one of the sport's most popular and leading figures from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. A member of a gifted golfing family, he won more than 90 international tournaments in his career, including five majors between 1979 and 1988 : The Open three times and the Masters twice. He gained attention in the golfing world in 1976 when at the age of just 19 he finished second at The Open. He played a leading role in the re-emergence of European golf, helping the European Ryder Cup team to five wins both as a player and captain. He won the World Match Play a record-tying five times. He is generally regarded as the greatest Continental European golfer of all time. He won a record 50 European titles. He won at least one European Tour title for 17 consecutive years between 1976 and 1992. His final victory was at the 1995 Spanish Open. Largely because of back-related injuries, he struggled with form during the late 1990s. Despite this, he continued to be involved in golf, creating the Seve Trophy and running a golf course design business. He eventually retired from competitive golf in 2007 because of continued poor form. In 2008, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for the second time at the BBC Sports Personality Awards in 2009 and was presented with the award at his home in Spain by his compatriot and former Ryder Cup teammate Jose Olazabal. Seve Ballesteros died of brain cancer aged 54 on 7th May 2011.
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