Remembering Seve Ballesteros three years after his death

Seve Ballesteros
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Has any golfer's display of passion ever matched that of Seve Ballesteros?
By T.J. Auclair, Senior Interactive Producer
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Three years ago today, the game lost a legend with the passing of Seve Ballesteros.

Arguably the most charismatic player with undoubtably the most uncanny knack to pull off the impossible shot that ever lived, Ballesteros died from complications of a cancerous brain tumor on May 7, 2011. He was 54.

In his prime, Ballesteros was among the best who ever walked the fairways. He won five majors over the course of his career -- the 1980 and 1983 Masters, as well as the 1979, 1984 and 1988 Open Championship.

A LOOK BACK: Tributes to Seve | Photos: Farewell to Seve | Your favorite Seve moments

Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1999, Ballesteros spent 61 weeks at No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. That's fourth-best out of the 16 players who have commanded the No. 1 slot since the Ranking's inception in 1986.

As good as he was individually on the course, the magician that was Ballesteros might be best known for his incredible Ryder Cup record. A member of eight European Ryder Cup teams as a player (and eight overall, when we was the winning captain in 1997 in his homeland), Ballesteros amassed an overall record of 20-12-5.

Partnering alongside countryman Jose Maria Olazabal, the duo was known as, "The Spanish Armada" when teamed up in the Ryder Cup. Paired together, the two compiled an amazing 11-2-2 record as teammates in the Ryder Cup. The pair -- with 12 points gained -- racked up more points as a tandem than any other European twosome in Ryder Cup history.

Overall, Ballesteros notched 91 wins worldwide and was a six-time European Tour Order of Merit winner -- second only to the eight held by Colin Montgomerie.

Ballesteros was also a passionate quote machine, with beauties like this:

On competing: "I look into their eyes, shake their hand, pat their back, and wish them luck, but I am thinking, 'I am going to bury you.'"

On the state of his game: "I'd like to see the fairways more narrow. Then everyone would have to play from the rough, not just me."

On the Ryder Cup: "As a player and captain, these are unforgettable moments where you are competing for your teammates, your country and for the people of your continent."

And, of course, Seve on his four-putt from 15 feet on the 16th green in the 1988 Masters: "I miss, I miss, I miss, I make."

Seve Ballesteros was the original trick-shot artist. Here are some examples:

Here is a well done tribute to Ballesteros that was posted the day of his death:

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.