THE condition of golfing legend Seve Ballesteros, one of the most popular sportsmen ever, has taken a serious turn for the worse.
In a wheelchair when visited by Jose Maria Olazabal two weeks ago, the 54-year-old’s health is now giving such concern that a statement was issued yesterday on his website.
“The Ballesteros family informs that Seve’s neurological condition has suffered a severe deterioration,” it read.
“The family will inform accordingly about any change in his health condition and takes this opportunity of thanking everyone for their support.”
Ballesteros’s life was saved by four lengthy brain operations after he collapsed with a tumour late in 2008.
He then underwent six courses of chemotherapy and additional radiotherapy, but now his millions of fans are once again anxiously awaiting more news.
It is understood that the former world number one’s three children – sons Baldomero and Miguel and daughter Carmen – are with him at home in Pedrena and that his ex-wife Carmen is staying at their apartment in nearby Santander.
Olazabal, who with Ballesteros formed the most devastating partnership in cup history with only two defeats in 15 games together, is competing at the Spanish Open in Barcelona.
According to the event’s press officer, both Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez, who served as Ballesteros’s vice-captain at Valderrama in 1997 and has gone on to win four caps as a player, were in tears after playing the first two rounds together.
The pair made their debuts in the tournament in 1983 and have yet to win it. Ballesteros was his national champion in 1981, 1985 and 1995, the last of his record 50 European Tour titles.
Olazabal said: “Seve was the biggest inspiration for me without a doubt. I didn’t know what the Ryder Cup was all about before my debut at Muirfield Village (in 1987).
“He took me under his wing, I saw the way he fought until the end and his passion for winning. It’s something I’ve carried on, or at least I’ve tried to keep with me.”
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