My history hero: Seve Ballesteros (1957–2011)

"He spent hours and hours alone on the beach with a club and a ball – hitting it, and fetching it, hitting it and fetching it – until he was an absolute master of his craft": Joe Root tells York Membery why Seve Ballesteros is his history hero...

Seve Ballesteros. (Photo by Brian Morgan/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the July 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Seve Ballesteros was one of the leading golfers of the late 20th century, and arguably the greatest ever continental European player. The Spanish sportsman won over 90 international tournaments, including the Open Championship three times (1979, 84 and 88) and the Masters twice (1980, 83). He also helped lead the European Ryder Cup team to five victories – although he struggled with form in the late 1990s due to back-related injuries. In 2008 he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour, from which he later died.

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