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Golf legend Ballesteros dies at 54

London, May 7 (Agencies)
Published on 8 May. 2011 12:22 AM IST
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Seve Ballesteros, one of golf’s most gifted and charismatic players, has died after a long battle with cancer.
The 54-year-old passed away surrounded by his family at his home in Pedrena, northern Spain, in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Ballesteros was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008 after losing consciousness at Madrid Airport.
The five-time major winner had four operations to remove the tumour as well as undergoing chemotherapy.
In a statement, the Ballesteros family expressed gratitude for the “support and gestures of love” they had received and asked for “respect and privacy at such a painful time”.
Ballesteros, who claimed 87 titles over his career, won the Open in 1979, 1984 and 1988 and became the first European to win the Augusta Masters in 1980, repeating the feat in 1983.
He also enjoyed a successful Ryder Cup career as both player and captain - playing in eight Ryder Cups and winning 20 points from 37 matches before guiding Europe to victory over the United States at Valderrama in 1997.
But it was his daring and flamboyant style that made Ballesteros special, transforming the image of golf and bringing a whole new audience to the sport.
BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter said: “No golfer did more to popularise the game in Europe than Seve Ballesteros.

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