As a 7-year old kid introduced to golf in the early seventies, I remember the first professional golf player I learned about was Severiano Ballesteros. Pros and caddies alike raved about his daring plays and incredible determination.
Yet, when they attended the annual pro tournament that Seve played they all agreed, he was very humble, human and approchable. It is not until a few years later when I made the golf team that I got the honor of following him for four days. I realized then, that what they were saying was not only true, but it was exemplary.
Seve had solely put his country, Spain, on the golf world map. Tourists from all over Europe started to flock to Spain to buy villas and condos around a slew of golf courses built by developpers. All thanks to Seve's global image of a daring golf professional. He alone contributed into making the European Tour a credible tour capable of attracting brands and namesake sponsors. Yet, his greatest achievement was to open the doors to countless junior golf schools. Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Quiros would not be having their international careers if it weren't for Seve's trailblazing.
We will never forget you, Seve.
Thank you for the memories and for inspiring us amateurs.