Seve’s passing saddens locals

The golfing community in the Cayman
Islands is mourning the sad death of Seve Ballesteros who lost his battle to
overcome a brain tumour on Friday. He was just 54.

The Spanish legend passed away at
his home in Pedrana with his three children – sons Baldomero and Miguel and
daughter Carmen – at his bedside along with his ex-wife Carmen.

Ballesteros was initially diagnosed
in October 2008 when he was rushed to hospital after collapsing at an airport.
Scans revealed a tumour and he underwent a 12-hour operation before receiving
chemotherapy treatment. 

The five-time major winner retired
from the public eye to battle the illness.

Radio Cayman sports reporter
Nikolai Hill is a keen golfer. He said: “Seve was a legend, one of the guys I
grew up watching. It is sad he has gone so prematurely. As a kid the only
golfers I knew were Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer and Seve.”

Ian Dawson-James is a director of
Sand Angels, the swim wear retailers in Camana Bay. He said: “I was fortunate
enough to see Seve at a tournament in Sunningdale, England in 1989 and he was
such a charismatic player. Some top golfers seem unapproachable but he wasn’t
like that. He was a fantastic golfer and this is a huge loss to the sport.”

Joel Dodson is president of the
Cayman Islands Golf Association. He said: “For me Seve was one of the greatest
ever who played the game. He did it with a passion like nobody else. He also
single-handedly turned the Ryder Cup into what it is today. He made it into
such an awesome event because the Americans made him out to be the villain
which made the tournament way more interesting.”

World No.1 Lee Westwood said: “It’s
a sad day, lost an inspiration, genius, role model, hero and friend. Seve made
European golf what it is today.”

Ballesteros’ fellow Spaniard Sergio
Garcia added: “He was a game-changer. To come from where he did and do what he did was amazing.”