European golf pioneer Seve has brain tumor
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2008 5:10 pm
By: By PAUL LOGOTHETIS, AP Sports Writer
MADRID, Spain (AP) — Seve Ballesteros has a brain tumor and will undergo a biopsy Tuesday.
The five-time major winner announced the news Sunday in a statement issued by Madrid’s La Paz Hospital.
It was unknown whether the tumor was benign or malignant at press time.
The 51-year-old golfing great was admitted to a hospital for tests after briefly losing consciousness last week.
Ballesteros, who made the announcement after telling his three children and their mother, said doctors will decide how to proceed with treatment after the results of his biopsy are made known.
“After an in-depth check up which has been carried out on me in the La Paz Hospital they have detected a brain tumor,” Ballesteros said in the statement.
The former Ryder Cup star, who won a record 50 times on the European tour, also was admitted to a hospital last year and was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
With all of his health concerns in the past, Ballesteros is looking to use the attitude he possessed on the golf course in the battle that he is about to embark on.
That may be one of the better mind frames for the golfing legend as he could be taking on a serious health problem.
“Throughout my career I have been among the best at overcoming challenges on the golf course,” Ballesteros said. “Now I want to be the best confronting the hardest challenge of my life, with all my strength, counting on all of you who are sending me encouraging messages.”
Ballesteros did not give any more details on the test results — including if the tumor was benign or malignant, but he knows that things could indeed be worse considering his years of visiting with the sick as a golfing star.
“I have always shown my solidarity with those people who face illness, including those whose (illnesses) are much worse than mine,” said Ballesteros, who was also admitted to a hospital last year when doctors discovered an irregular heartbeat.
“Now my wish is to ask for respect towards my family and especially my children. We will keep you informed.”
Ballesteros won the British Open three times and the Masters twice before retiring from active competition last year due to a long history of back pain.
Many credit Ballesteros’ swashbuckling spirit and flare on the golf course for transforming the European game as a whole.
Ballesteros could manufacture shots from just about anywhere on and off the course, including a memorable one from a parking lot next to the 16th fairway at Royal Lytham & St. Annes on his way to victory at the 1979 British Open.
After the Ryder Cup competition was expanded to include continental Europe in 1979, Ballesteros helped beat the United States in 1985 to begin a span of two decades of dominance.
He also captained the Europe team to a Ryder Cup victory on its home soil in 1997 at Valdarrama.