The memory of Seve Ballesteros will be carried every step of the way by The European Team during The 2012 Ryder Cup with the United States at Medinah Country Club this week.
European Captain José María Olazábal revealed a special tribute to Seve when The European Team emerged for their first practice round today with their official team golf bags emblazoned with the iconic silhouette depicting Ballesteros’s famous Open Championship triumph at St Andrews in 1984.
Olazábal said: “We felt that this was one way that Seve could be with us every step of the way. This is the first match since he sadly passed away and a fitting tribute to a true champion and a great friend.
“Seve was an important part of The Ryder Cup because of the way he played and conducted himself from his opening match in 1979. This is the first time since then that he has not been present in anyway because in 2010 he was able to talk to everyone via the telephone.
“Seve set a wonderful example to generations of golfers and for me there are many, many memories particularly involving The Ryder Cup. Now the best tribute we can pay to Seve is to go on playing for him and his image will certainly ensure he is alongside us throughout the week.”
That image of Seve’s salute following his win at St Andrews is often referred to as “El Momento” and he described the holing of his winning putt on the 18th green as “the happiest moment of my whole sporting life.”
Ballesteros, who adopted the silhouette as his business logo and had it tattooed on his left forearm, played in eight Ryder Cups. He won 22 ½ points from 37 matches including a record 11 wins and two halves from 15 matches in partnership with Olazábal.
He passed away on May 7, 2011, following a courageous battle against cancer and following an outstanding career in which he won 91 tournaments worldwide including 50 on The European Tour International Schedule, three Open Championships and two Masters Tournaments.