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How Ballesteros paved the way for European golf at the Masters (Part 2)

On April 10, 1980, Ballesteros took part and scored an impressive score of 66 sticks. He then played 69 strokes to monopolize the top of the board after 36 holes with a four-stroke lead. By the end of the penultimate round, the advantage increased to eight strokes over Jack Newton in second place.

The next day, Ballesteros again accelerated with foreplay including three birdies and two pars. When standing on tee tee par 4, he took 10 strokes. But the golf course never went smoothly. Ballesteros took three putt to finish the first pit of the second half.

In hole 12, par3 at the corner of Amen nightmares, Ballesteros inevitably traps the temptation to attack the flag and hit the ball into the Rae creek. Hole 13, he fell into the same situation. At that moment, the eyes of the Spanish golfer flashed with fear.

Player’s words calmed Ballesteros. A par score in hole 14 and a birdie in hole 15 put him back on the upper hand. Then he headed straight up to the coronation platform with par points through the last three holes. Ballesteros finished at -13, with a four-goal difference. Newton shared second with Gibby Gilbert.

After the second time wearing the Green Jacket in 1983, Ballesteros had two other attempts at the Masters in the following years. The first time was in 1986, when Jack Nicklaus won the 6th Masters at age 46 and was the last time in his career.

Ballesteros inspires later European compatriots to conquer Masters

At The Open Championship, Ballesteros won the Clarret Jug twice, in 1984 and 1988. When the men’s golf world rankings (OGWR) came out in 1986, Ballesteros held the number one spot for 61 weeks.

On the Ryder Cup front with the United States, he and his compatriot Olazabal are considered the perfect match by the record of the number of appearances, wins and points achieved over time. The duo fought 15 games, won 11 matches and brought a total of 12 points for the European team.

In 1999, Ballesteros was named to the World Golf Legendary Temple. He suffered from brain cancer and died at the age of 54 on May 21, 2011, leaving a legacy of a record 50 European Tour Cups, nine PGA Tour titles and five major crowns. But above all was the winning faith for Europeans in the American major arena that he had grouped up at the 1980 Masters.