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Sports

Seve remembered, Olympic ambition: golf talking points

  • "My idol, it's always been Seve," said Rahm. "I always try to emulate what he inspired in the golf course."
04 May 2021

HONG KONG: A former great and a major-record holder feature in AFP Sport's golf taking points this week:

Matador spirit

The golf world will on Friday mark 10 years since it lost the most charismatic of talents, Seve Ballesteros, who died of a brain tumour in 2011 at the cruelly young age of 54.

The winner of 90 tournaments worldwide, including a record 50 European Tour titles and five majors, the fearless style, grace and shotmaking of the Spaniard is missed to this day.

The 22-year-old young matador's Open Championship win in 1979 was his first major and a year later Ballesteros slipped on the first of his two green jackets at Augusta National, his second Masters arriving only three years later.

Jon Rahm, the world number three, now flies the flag for Spanish golf and has been knocking on the door of his first major with six top-10s in the past three years and was tied for fifth at last month's Masters.

Rahm warms up for this month's US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in North Carolina this week, having already followed in the footsteps of his hero by two years ago becoming the first Spaniard since Ballesteros in 1991 to win the European Tour Order of Merit.

"My idol, it's always been Seve," said Rahm. "I always try to emulate what he inspired in the golf course."

It surely cannot be much longer until he joins Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia as a Spanish major champion.