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Wednesday, 11 May 2011
The funeral procession of Seve Ballesteros leaves his home  (Getty Images)
The funeral procession of Seve Ballesteros leaves his home (Getty Images)

Six Ryder Cup Captains were among the mourners who gathered for the funeral of Seve Ballesteros at the small church small parish church of San Pedro de Pedreña in northern Spain.

The 2012 European Captain José Maria Olazábal, who with Seve formed the greatest partnership in Ryder Cup history, was joined by past Captains Sir Nick Faldo, Bernard Gallacher, Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam. Miguel Angel Jiménez and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño were among the Spanish contingent with a host of European Tour players past and present who joined family and friends in Seve's hometown.

George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson and his predecessor Sir Michael Bonallack were among those paying their respects.

The five-times Major winner and inspiration to a generation of golfers died at his home aged 54 in the early hours of Saturday morning, after having had four operations on a brain tumour diagnosed back in 2008.

The entrance to the church was adorned with upwards of 30 wreaths from around the world, such as from the Spanish Royal family and the government.

Three large television screens had been set up in a small square alongside the church for those who wanted to watch the televised ceremony.

There was also a minute's silence at all 422 golf clubs across Spain, including at Pula Golf Club, host venue of the Iberdrola Open this week.

Colin Montgomerie, who led Europe to Ryder Cup victory last October, said: “We came here as past Ryder Cup Captains, Tour officials and R&A officials and had to be here. When you see the support of such a legend it is unbelievable.”

Recalling the inspirational phone call from Seve during The Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor Resort, he added: “It was a very moving ten minutes for our team and a very influential ten minutes which perhaps swung the match in our favour. It is such a shame that passion will not be seen again. Now, after this mournful day, we have to celebrate his life.”

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