Severiano Ballesteros was born on 9 April 1957 in Pedreña. He lived for golf from a very early age, as his father was a gardener on the Pedreña golf course. His love of golf came from his uncle Ramón Sota, who was Spanish champion, and from his three older brothers, Baldomero, Manuel and Vicente.
When Seve was a child he practised on Pedreña beach with a shortened three iron adapted to his height. At the age of nine, he became a caddie on Pedreña golf course but was not licensed to play until he was thirteen, although he took the chance some evenings to practise when nobody was watching.
He became a professional in 1974. In the same year he won the Spanish Sub-25 Open, the Vizcaya Open and took part in some European Championships, ending the year in 118th place on the Order of Merit.
In 1976, at 19, he achieved several prestigious victories such as the Lancome Trophy, the Dutch Open, the Championship of Catalonia, that of Tenerife, the Spanish Absolute, the Donald Swaalens Memorial, the World Cup championship with Manuel Piñero; and he was second at the British Open in Royal Birkdale tying with Jack Nicklaus. He was also awarded the Vardon Trophy for the best European player of the year.
He managed 54 victories on the European circuit including three British Opens (1979, 84 and 88) and he played the Ryder Cup 8 times. All of this in addition to his victories on the American circuit, which included 2 Masters Augusta, being the first European player to win the championship twice.
With respect to the Ryder Cup, Severiano was the man who opened the doors of the then British and Irish teams to the rest of the European players. In 1997, he was appointed the first non-British captain of the European Ryder Cup team which beat the United States on the Valderrama course in Cadiz, which was the first time that the tournament had left British soil.
Ballesteros won the Order of Merit six times: 1976, 77, 78, 86, 88 and 91. He was also given many prizes and medals including the Príncipe de Asturias Award (1988) and the Olympic Order given by the International Olympic committee.
Seve was the golfer who most strokes invented of all modern players, after learning to play with a single club. A good sign of this is the 3 wood from a bunker to green on the last hole of his individual match in the Ryder Cup of 1983.
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