In what has to be some of the best news of the 2008 golf year, golf icon Seve Ballesteros was released from LaPaz hospital in Madrid yesterday after undergoing extensive surgery for a malignant brain tumor. Balllesteros , in a statement posted on his website said of his neurosurgeons, “Thanks to them I will be able to play the mulligan of my life, which I expect to enjoy at my best.”He additionally thanked the hospital staff and well-wishers that responded to his plight 66 days ago.
Ballesteros was stricken on Oct. 6 with a fainting spell at Madrid's international airport. Subsequently he's endured four individual operations to remove the tumor and relieve swelling around his brain. An arduous 6 1/2 hour surgery was performed on Oct. 24 to remove the insidious infiltrator. Ballesteros added, “Occasionally I was a rebel patient and therefore I ask them to forgive me and thank everyone for all the cares received.”
The five time major champion is one of, if not the most, charismatic golfer of the modern game. His style and panache were unmatched during his playing days, perhaps none more so than his playing a shot from the parking lot on the 16th hole during the 1979 British open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Seve had a car moved to execute his 2nd shot which landed 15 feet from the pin. Naturally he sunk the putt for birdie and carried on to win his 1st of three Open Championships.
Ballesteros also renewed the rivalry what had been an American avalanche in the Ryder Cup. He was influential in including continental Europe in the proceedings and beat the US in 1985 to start off a European string of dominance in the event.
Seve officially retired from competitive golf in 2007 due to lingering back problems.
Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to a man that's impacted the sport of golf as few have.