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History of golf

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.

Categories
History of golf

How Ballesteros paved the way for European golf at the Masters (Part 1)

40 years ago, Seve Ballesteros became the first European golfer to win Masters, inspiring the famous major to conquer many juniors.

Ballestero’s achievements in the Masters

On April 13, 1980, Ballesteros put on the Blue Shirt in pride. This was not only for himself but also for his homeland of Spain and even Europe. He won at the age of 23. This was a record for championship age. Very few Europeans had the opportunity to enter the Augusta National Stadium to compete for the Masters.

Then in the following decade, other Europeans took turns wearing the Green Jacket. They were the Spanish compatriots of Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal in 1994, 1999, Bernhard Langer (1985, 1993), Sandy Lyle (1988), Ian Woosnam (1991), Sir Nick Faldo (1989, 1990, 1996). The closest is Sergio Garcia – another Spanish golfer, in 2017. Ballesteros himself won the Masters for the second time in 1983.

And according to that, European guests at the 1980 Masters include Ballesteros – defending champion of The Open Championship, Sandy Lyle – winning Order of Merit 1979, Mark James finishing fourth at The Open 1979 and Peter McEvoy – British Amateur champion Championship.

That year was the fourth time Ballesteros attended the Masters. But before that, he was a formidable opponent in the eyes of Americans. He had important contributions to the European team in the Ryder Cup.

Even American player Hale Irwin has given up. This was after Ballesteros defeated him at The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Irwin called Ballesteros the “parking lot champion” just because the opponent kicked in.

Ballesteros has been longing to conquer Augusta National for many years. He attended the Masters for the first time in 1977. Before that, that passion was also rekindled through fascinating stories about “holy land in the forest” through the narration of Ramon Sota – the uncle who finished sixth in the Masters in 1965.