Golf: Ballesteros seeks cure for his back

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SEVE BALLESTEROS is taking time off from the tournament circuit to spend some time at home in northern Spain on his private practice ground.

The 36-year-old has spent most of the last two months in the Arizona desert, trying to improve the back problem which he believes is largely responsible for his slump in form over the last year.

'The hardest thing was being away from my family (he has two young sons) over Christmas, but I felt I had to do something,' he said. 'Last year was the most frustrating of my whole career. Most of the time I was playing I was keeping my fingers crossed that I would finish the round. It was that bad a feeling.'

Ballesteros, the former Open and US Masters champion, pulled out of the final event of last season, the Volvo Masters, because of his recurring back trouble.