Ballesteros Plays Toughest Shot of All

Seve Ballesteros is only 51 years old.  It seems like he should be drawing social security by now.

We forget what a young man he was when he stormed into golf's major championships during the disco era  sportswriters quickly learned how to spell the name of the confident young Spaniard who had a game to last.

In 1979, Ballesteros forged his legend with an impossible shot from a parking lot next to the 16th fairway at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.  Anyone who thought they could beat him before that birdie at the British Open was waving the internal white flag.

He won five major championships and after the Ryder Cup competition became a 'Europe vs USA' match, Ballesteros began carving out the team-oriented part of his career.

Ballesteros' play helped the Euros beat the United States in 1985 and the American side never quite recovered.   He was honored with captaincy at Valdarrama in 1997, leading Europe to another win in the country of his birth.

There wasn't a shot Ballesteros thought he couldn't make, no matter the trouble. 

Now, he's inherited another tough lie.  Ballesteros has a brain tumor.  He courageously released the news to the world last week and will know more on Tuesday when he again promised to pass along the information.   A biopsy will apparently determine whether it's malignant or benign. 

This time he won't be in control of what happens but either way,  Ballesteros' courage and countenance will serve him well.   No tumor of any kind will have it easy with Seve standing over it, armed with a wedge.