Reaction to the death of Ballesteros

Associated Press


Published: Saturday, May 07, 2011 | 12:13 p.m.

Reaction to the death Saturday of golfing great Seve Ballesteros:

“The biggest highlight of his personality was his strength, his fighting spirit and his passion for everything he did. … The best homage we can pay him is to continue playing, but I don’t think any of the homages we make will ever be sufficient enough after everything he’s done for golf.”—Jose Maria Olazabal.

“The thing that really stands out about him is his determination … and his passion for everything that he did. He never gave up and always looked for (the shot) or way out, and that reflected his personality.”—Miguel Angel Jimenez.

“He had a real impact on me and on my life in this sport. He was a leader— bringing the spotlight to the European Tour, paving the way to European success at the Masters and bringing his relentless passion to the Ryder Cup. Today I would call him Cirque du Soleil. For golf, he was the greatest show on earth. I was a fan and so fortunate I had a front row seat.”—Nick Faldo.

"Seve played with a rare combination of talent and heart, and his intensity endeared him to his teammates in the Ryder Cup, a competition that elevated his talent and leadership. As long as the pipes may play to call teams together for the Ryder Cup, they will play for Seve. We shall miss him dearly, and we mourn with his family and his many friends and fans throughout the world."—PGA of America President Allen Wronowski.

“His creativity and inventiveness on the golf course may never be surpassed. His death came much too soon.”—Tiger Woods.

“Seve made European golf what it is today.”—Lee Westwood.

“America had Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Seve was our Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus rolled into one. You can’t speak too highly of him. Seve was Europe’s best ever player.”—Bernard Gallacher.

“We are looking at a top artist, the king of European golf, if you like, for many years. He brought excitement into the European game as Arnold Palmer did into the American game. Everybody drew another breath when he played. It was like watching a masterpiece.”—Howard Clark.

“He was so respected as a player and so admired as a player. His impact on golf to me was more what he did for the European Tour and the Ryder Cup. Those both go hand in hand. It’s not far-fetched at all to say that he was the Arnold Palmer of his day on the European Tour, without a doubt. He did so much.”— Curtis Strange.

“Seve was the most passionate player I have ever faced and the most patriotic … one of the most talented and flamboyant players ever to play the game.”—Paul Azinger.

“This is such a very sad day for all who love golf. Seve’s unique legacy must be the inspiration he has given to so many to watch, support, and play golf, and finally to fight a cruel illness with equal flair, passion, and fierce determination. We have all been so blessed to live in his era. He was the inspiration behind the European Tour.”—George O’Grady, chief executive of the European Tour.

“Severiano Ballesteros was a unique, unrepeatable person. We have to recognize we are where we are now, that golf is a popular sport … in large part to Severiano Ballesteros. We all owe him a lot.”—Spanish Golf Federation President Gonzaga Escauriaza.

“Seve Ballesteros was a man of incredible skill, charisma and courage as a sportsman, and the dignified way that he fought against the disease was characteristic of the man and was an inspiration to us all. He was a ‘once in a generation athlete’ in his sport, and his influence on the game will live long after him.”—Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee.

“Sad to hear about the passing of Seve Ballesteros. May he RIP.”—Lance Armstrong.