Sota, Spanish star who urged nephew Ballesteros to greatness, dies at 74

Ramon Sota
Four-time Spanish champion Ramon Sota finished sixth at the 1965 Masters and seventh at the 1963 British Open.
Associatred Press

Series: Industry News

Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 | 3:54 p.m.

MADRID -- The Spanish golf federation says Ramon Sota, the uncle of Seve Ballesteros and inspirational player of the 1960s and 70s, has died. He was 74.

At age 18, Sota won the first of four Spanish championships. He also won four tournaments in Portugal, France and Brazil during the 1960s. He finished sixth at the 1965 Masters in Augusta Natoinal, which was at the time the best result by a European player. Sota's best result at the British Open was seventh in 1963.

Sota, who retired in 1972, inspired Ballesteros to go on to become Europe's top player with five major victories. Ballesteros died of a brain tumor last year.

Sota's son Jose Antonio said his father's philosophy was ''work, fight, recover'' and ''he had a competitive spirit and knew how to recover from a bad day.''