Seve Ballesteros has passed away aged 54.
Since collapsing at Madrid airport three years ago, the five-time major champion has been recuperating at his home. His condition worsened on Wednesday and was admitted to hospital, where he was under heavy sedation.
On Friday afternoon, Ballesteros was surrounded by his family, who were understood to be preparing for the worse.
The news was confirmed by the Spaniard’s family on his official website. It read: “Today, at 2.10am Spanish time, Seve Ballesteros passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at his home in Pedreña.
“The Ballesteros family is very grateful for all the support and gestures of love that have been received since Seve was diagnosed with a brain tumour on 5th October 2008 at Madrid Hospital la Paz.
“At this time the family asks for respect and privacy at such a painful time.
“Thank you very much.”
Completely by coincidence, the Spanish Open – the last competitive title won by Ballesteros – is currently being played in Barcelona.
Close friend José María Olazábal, who was inspired by him since childhood, was too emotional to speak to the media after his second round. “I can’t talk,” said the 2012 Ryder Cup captain. “I can only wait, and cry.”
Olazábal’s playing partner and fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez was visibly in tears upon completion of his second round.
The term ‘legend’ is thrown around far too often these days. Severiano Ballesteros was one sportsman thoroughly deserving of such a title.
Keep an eye on Golfmagic over the next few days, as we pay our own special respects to a true magician and trailblazer for European golf.