My first experience watching Seve Ballesteros was at the Masters. I was a teen golfer, self taught much like Seve and after watching him play live he instantly became my golf hero. His swing was long, smooth and rhythmical….his touch around the greens was mesmerizing and he could make putts from anywhere. I followed him on every hole watching his swing, trying to absorb the rhythm. He walked with confidence like one of the golfing gods. He had the stare, the charisma, the smile and when he made birdies the whole course lit up from the roars. I remember the 18th hole, he hit his drive far left of the bunkers with a big sweeping hook that left him about 30 yards left of the fairway.
He approached the ball, studied the lie then walked up the hill to catch a glimpse of the flag. He then had a brief discussion in Spanish with his caddy, pinched some grass and tossed it up to check the wind, grabbed a club, hitched up his pants Seve style and smashed a long, high short iron onto the green. I was standing just in front and to the left of him and he walked right next to me on the way to the green. I was super shy but managed to say “nice shot Seve”! He smiled and with a touch to his cap said “thank you bery much” in his Spanish accent. From that day on I was the biggest Seve fan in Augusta. Later that day I went to the range and for one day had absorbed Seve’s rhythm and hit the ball the best ever of my young golfing career.
Winner of 87 titles worldwide, 3 British Opens and 2 Masters…Seve you were and are still my hero. Thank you for your great contributions to the game of golf and for making this kid from Augusta follow the dream.
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