Sports Outside the Beltway

Seve Ballesteros Retires

Seve Ballesteros is retiring from golf after a failed bid to succeed on the seniors’ tour convinced him it just wasn’t worth the grind anymore.

Seve Ballesteros, a five-time major championship winner, announced his retirement from golf on Monday.The Spaniard, who won the British Open three times and the Masters twice, told a news conference at the British Open: “This has been the most difficult decision of my life.”

Ballesteros, who turned 50 in April, has not been a force in golf for the last 10 years as he has coped with back injuries.

Ballesteros recently underwent hospital tests recently over a minor heart scare. He said he had made up his mind to retire only after a failed attempt to play on the Champions Tour in the U.S. this year. “For several months there was something confusing inside. It was an internal fight — my head said I should retire. I kept saying that over and over,” he said. “My heart kept telling me it would be better to keep playing and compete. So it was difficult for quite a while. Finally, I decided to go to try on the Champions Tour [the seniors tour in the U.S.]. So I went there and played one tournament and then I came back. That really made me think … I should retire.”

He continued: “I don’t have the desire any longer. I have worked very hard from morning to night and put all my energy and effort into the game, focused 100 percent and I felt that was enough.

“I have a number of good years left and I’d rather spend time now with my three children and my companies and friends.”

Ballesteros did for Europe what Arnold Palmer did for American golf a generation earlier. He was a swashbuckler on the course, a combination of power and amazing imagination. He won one of his three British Open titles by playing a shot from the car park (a temporary parking lot), and perhaps his greatest shot was a 3-wood from bunker on the final hole of the Ryder Cup in 1983, the first time Europe had a chance.

Inspired by his fierce style, Europe closed the gap on the United States in the matches until winning for the first time in 1985, and dominating ever since. One of those victory came in 1997 at Valderrama, with Ballesteros as the captain.

He’s certainly earned his retirement.

Bill Jempty Update- Ballesteros was a short game wizard. As seen in his wins at Augusta and hid recovery from the car park at the 1979 Open.(I was doing my Navy Basic Training in Orlando Florida at the time of that Open. So I only saw Seve’s miracles that year afterwards) I followed golf even more heavily in the 80′s and Seve’s exploits are very vivid to me. There has been serious questions about Seve’s health of late. I hope he is well and wish Seve a happy retirement.

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