The career of Seve Ballesteros may be near it's end after the 35-year-old Spaniard pulled out of the Balearic Open last Thursday (March 11) because of severe back trouble.
VARIOUS LOCATIONS (FILE; JULY 1976 - FEBRUARY 1993)
1. SEVE FINISHES MOROCCO OPEN 20/3/93 ON 8 OVER PAR (TWI)
2. FINE CHIP OVER WATER WHILE COMING THIRD IN DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC 31/1/93 (TWI/DUBAI TV)
3. SEVVY, AGED 19, SHARES SECOND PLACE WITH NICKLAUS BEHIND MILLER IN 1976 BRITISH OPEN 10/7/76 (BBC)
4. WINS MARTINI TOURNAMENT AT EPSOM, UK 21/5/78 - 14TH MAJOR title IN TWO YEARS (BBC)
5. HELPS EUROPEAN SIDE BEAT USA FOR FIRST TIME IN 28 YEARS 15/9/85 WITH BIRDIE PUTT AGAINST TOM KITE (BBC)
6. WINNING HIS THIRD BRITISH OPEN AT LYTHAM ST ANNES 18/7/88 (BBC)
7. BIRDIE PUTT TO WIN GERMAN OPEN 28/8/88 (VISNEWS)
8. THREE SHOTS TOWARDS WINNING RECORD-EQUALLING FIFTH WORLD MATCHPLAY AT WENTWORTH UK, 19-20/10/91. HANDSHAKE WITH NICK PRICE AFTER BALLESTEROS WINS TITLE (BBC)
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Background: The career of Seve Ballesteros may be near it's end after the 35-year-old Spaniard pulled out of the Balearic Open last Thursday (March 11) because of severe back trouble.
He said at the time that he was at the stage where he just prayed to finish his round every day. Winner of five majors, and an influential member of Europe's Ryder Cup team, Ballesteros has been plagued by back problems throughout his career, but his condition seems to have worsened.
"The pain is persistant" Ballesteros said at the time. "I have trouble sleeping, I can't practise as much as I want. It hurts when I swing, and I can even feel the pain when I am putting" he added.
Ballesteros had shot a seven-over-par 79 before deciding to pull out of the Balearic. Two weeks ago, Ballesteros suffered the humiliation of failing to make the cut at the Andalusia Open in Cadiz, Spain, a tournament he had promoted, and a course he helped design.
His aggregate 150 was two shots over the cut, and he bogeyed three of the first six holes.
Seve has not won a tournament since the Balearic Open in March last year. At the World Championships in Jamaica last December, he trailed in 32 strokes behind winner Nick Faldo. Currently 24th in the European order of merit, there is talk of him missing this year's Ryder Cup.
Obituaries were being written about Ballesteros in 1990 during his last bad spell, but he bounced back in 1991 when he was made European Golfer of the Year after winning the British Open, the British Masters, and a record-equalling fifth World Matchplay title.
Ballesteros has won over 60 titles in a professional career spanning 18 years. He has cancelled plans to compete in this week's Portuguese Open, but has not yet said whether he will compete in the US Masters in Augusta on April 9.