Seve Ballesteros, the charismatic Spanish golfer who won the Masters twice and the British Open three times and helped propel Europe’s rise in the Ryder Cup competition with the United States, died early Saturday at his home in northern Spain, where his struggle with brain cancer had gained wide attention in the sports world. He was 54.
The story resonated with me for a few reasons: I remembered watching him as a kid with my dad, and how calm and cool and smiling he was—a sportsman who actually deserved his fame; I was playing golf a little at the time the news came out; and, most importantly to myself, my sister Nancy had died of the very same disease four years earlier. She was just 42, and I spent a lot of the eighteen months she lasted after diagnosis with her, and hers and our family, so I actually know a lot more about this particular form of cancer than I'd like.
Anyway, Seve kept a great spirit throughout this, as the times he spoke publicly or sent messages to his fans show, and he lasted much longer than the disease usually allows. And I'm just sad he's gone. Much warmth and condolences to his family and his many, many friends.
So long, Seve Ballesteros.