A Golfer for the Ages

I remember two of sisters coming back from a trip to England they had taken with my parents  in 1976.  At that time my parents assumed that we were not of the right age to appreciate the things you normally do when you are in Europe and Ifigure they were right.  So, we stayed at home and held the fort while they were away.  That meant extra ice cream, more swim time and going to be late watching classic reruns on TV. 

       If I’m not mistaken, the summer of 1976 was the hottest on record in Great Britain, and with the scant use of air conditioning back then, the heat wave turned into a horror story for millions.  Other than that, I don’t recall my sisters having much more to say about the holiday other than that they had both fallen madly in love with a dashing and daring young golfer from Spain named Severiano Ballesteros.  He was 19 and on the verge of raising the claret cup at the British Open (Oooops…the Open Championship…excuse me.)  Well back then it was called that.   

       Seve died yesterday, May 7, at the age of 54.

       That July marked the beginning of the career of one of the most charismatic and beloved golfers of all time.  I have to admit it took me a while to take a liking to Seve, as his fantastic game posed a serious threat to my idol at the time, Jack Nicklaus.   But the quality of his golf and his character soon won me over, and I have greatly admired him ever since.    He also contributed heavily to making golf what it is today in Europe.   Thirty years ago, the game on a professional level was dominated by Americans.  That is no longer the case today by any means.

       Doctors discovered Seve had a malignant tumor in 2008, and though he recovered successfully for a few years, he finally succumbed to the cancer yesterday.   Once again his courage and chivalry marked his fight to overcome his condition.   He continued to inspire up until his death and beyond.   

        Thank you for everything Seve. 

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