Severiano Ballesteros was born on 9 April 1957 in Pedreña (Cantabria), , a small village on the southern shore of the Bay of Santander in the north of Spain.

Baldomero, his father, had formed part of one of the best rowing crews in history in Spanish “traineras” (fixed bench fishermen’s boat). In Pedreña there is a great tradition for this type of tough sport, although golf also formed part of the atmosphere at that time-the 50’s and 60’s. if, in all the Pedreña homes one could always find a member of the family who had caddied at the Royal Pedreña Golf Club – a prestigious club inaugurated in 1928 by de King of Spain – in the Ballesteros family this was more than a customary as Seve’s older brothers Baldomero, Manuel and Vicente were all professional golfers, as was his uncle Ramon Sota, his mother’s brother, one of the best golfers in Europe in the sixties, winner of four Spanish Professionals Championships, sixth in the 1965 U.S. Masters and a member of runners-up teams at two World Cups, in 1963 and 1965 (behind the USA and South Africa, respectively), in addition to other important victories all over the world.

With this background, plus of course, impressive natural talent and his tremendous love of the game and enthusiasm for work, Seve, with a 3-iron his brother Manuel had given him as a present, invented a huge variety of shots that bestowed his game with enormous versatility.

At the age of 10 he took part in his first caddies tournament. He recorded a score of 51 over the 9 holes, beginning with a 10 on the first hole – a par 3. The following year, he came second with 42. At the age of 12, then playing the full 18 holes, he won the tournament with a score of 79. His made progress at lightening speed – at 13 he was already finishing with 65 – and he picked up everything he saw. In 1971, when the La Manga Club was officially opened, he was able to watch the great golfers in action. The golfing star that most impressed him was Gary Player and his spirit of sacrifice on the practice ground.

Seve din not have much chance to play at the Pedreña (Golf Club and for that reason he sharpened his skills mainly on the beach and only on nights with a full moon did he tiptoe down a play the course. Of course, he was caught out more than once and punished for his misbehaviour, which made him think seriously about his future.

Despite these obstacles, on 22 March 1974 he turned professional (he was not quite 17). His first tournament was the Spanish Professionals Championship at San Cugat. He came 20th, causing his great disappointment as his objective was no less than outright victory. His first triumph came in Pedreña when he won the under -25 Championship of Spain and the following week he vas runner – up at the Santander Open, al the North of Spain Circuit. At an international level, his best performance was at the Italian Open where he came 5th.

1976 was witness to his definite launching. Not as mucho for winning the Order of Merit with victories in the Dutch Open or Lancôme Trophy, catching up on the 4 shots Arnold Palmer had over him with 9 holes to go, or his triumphant World Cup Team win in California but for his performance, which catapulted him to world fame when he came second in the British Open at Royal Birkdale, sharing the honours with Jack Nicklaus as runners up to an unsociable Johnny Miller. Seve was leader of the tournament for the first three days, surprising everybody with a chip that he shot clean as a whistle between two bunkers, rolling too little over a metre from the pin, giving him a birdie on the last hole. The intense look on his face and his courage from that day onwards mesmerise the masses.

In 1977 he again came first on the Order of Merit and in 1978, with victories in the USA, Kenya and Japan; he became a truly international golfer. The truth is he achieved six consecutive tournament victories which, in addition, were over the remaining four continents after Europe. Seve won his first British Open in 1979, becoming the youngest winner of the century

His next appearance in a major was at the US Masters where, in 1980, he gain amazed everyone. With 9 holes to go he was 10 ahead of the player in second place… Seve holed 23 birdies an eagle. Augusta already had its winner. At 23 he became the second non-American and first European to wear the green jacket. It was really an incredible success. The church bells in his home town rang out in joy, however, in the rest of Spain little interest was roused.

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