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SEVE (SEH-vee)

Spanish former professional golfer
Common clue:
Golfer Ballesteros; Ballesteros of the PGA; Ballesteros on the links
Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year
Frequency in English language: 20707 / 86800
Severiano Ballesteros Tribute

I'd like to see the fairways more narrow. Then everyone would have to play from the rough, not just me. ~ Seve Ballesteros

Severiano "Seve" Ballesteros Sota (9 April 1957 – 7 May 2011) was a Spanish professional golfer, a World No. 1 who was one of the sport's leading figures from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. He gained attention in the golfing world in 1976, when at the age of 19 he finished second at the The Open Championship (British Open). A member of a gifted golfing family, Ballesteros won five major championships between 1979 and 1988: the Open Championship three times, and the Masters Tournament twice. He was also successful in the Ryder Cup, helping the European team to five wins both as a player and captain, and won the World Match Play Championship a record-tying five times. He is best known for his great short game, and his erratic driving of the golf ball. He is generally regarded as the greatest Spanish golfer of all time.

Due to back-related injuries, Ballesteros struggled with form during the 1990s. In spite of this, he continued to be involved in the game of golf, creating The Seve Trophy and running a golf course design business. Ballesteros eventually retired from competitive golf in 2007 due to continued poor form.

At Madrid-Barajas Airport on 6 October 2008, Ballesteros lost consciousness and was admitted to hospital. Six days later, he confirmed that he had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. On 15 October, Spanish news agency Efe reported that he had undergone a 12-hour operation to resect the tumor, the first of four operations he would have. A hospital spokeswoman stated that surgeons had removed a sizable part of the tumor. On 23 October, it was confirmed publicly that the tumor was classified as a cancerous oligoastrocytoma, and after a rapid deterioration of his health, further surgery took place on 24 October to stabilize him and try to remove the remainder of the tumor. On 24 October, it was confirmed that the tumor had been removed after a 6½-hour operation. On 3 November, it was confirmed by the hospital that he was starting his rehabilitation in the intensive care unit, and was breathing steadily. On 18 November, he was moved out of the intensive care unit and changed wards at Madrid's La Paz Hospital to continue his rehabilitation.

Ballesteros was discharged from hospital on 9 December 2008. He then returned home to northern Spain and underwent chemotherapy treatment as an outpatient. In January 2009 a message on his website said he had responded well to one course of chemotherapy.

"I am very motivated and working hard although I am aware that my recovery will be slow and therefore I need to be patient and have a lot of determination. For these reasons I am following strictly all the instructions that the doctors are giving me. Besides, the physiotherapists are doing a great job on me and I feel better every day."

Ballesteros completed a second course of chemotherapy at Madrid's La Paz Hospital in February 2009. Speaking through his website he said, "The results of the check-up were really positive, better even than the first ones." He finished a third round of treatment in March 2009, and completed his fourth and final course of chemotherapy a month later.

In June, Ballesteros made his first public appearance after treatment for the brain tumor. He said it was a "miracle" to be alive and he thanked everyone who had been involved in his care and welfare.

At his first public appearance, Ballesteros announced the launch of the "Seve Ballesteros Foundation". This foundation was set up to help those with cancer fight it. The foundation aims to research cancer, especially brain tumors, but it will also help financially challenged young golfers, so they can be as successful as him.

On 6 May 2011, Ballesteros' family released a press release announcing that his neurological condition had "suffered a severe deterioration". He died within hours of the announcement in the early hours of 7 May 2011; his older brother Baldomero confirmed the precise time of death at 2:10 am CEST.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Severiano Ballesteros"