Ballesteros prepares to end self-imposed exile

Seve Ballesteros yesterday insisted he had never thought about retiring after ending his two-month exile from the game.

Ballesteros has not played since being disqualified from the Irish Open in June for signing for a wrong score after running up a 12 on the final hole in his first-round 89. The 45-year-old immediately pulled out of the Open at Muirfield, ending his run of 27 consecutive appearances, and speculation was rife that he was contemplating ending a career which has brought him five majors and more than 80 other victories worldwide.

However, as the Spaniard prepared for the £1.2m BMW International Open which starts here today, he insisted the thought of retirement had not crossed his mind. "I was just resting for a while, I did not think about retiring," said Ballesteros, who has made just one cut in the five tournaments he has played this season. "But a lot of people wrote to me, they thought that was it.

"It was a difficult and sad decision to miss the Open but I did not feel good. I thought it was better for me to stay and rest because I was not very comfortable. I was not doing well and I did not want to show up and suffer. I preferred to do what I did, I think it was the right decision.

"I enjoyed being with my family, swimming and fishing and playing golf with my kids. I have nothing to prove. I want to enjoy my golf and if I do, the rest will come.

"I can't control what people write about, I did not really care or pay much attention. I don't worry about what people think or say. I worry about me, I do what I feel is right to be happy."

Ballesteros received hundreds of letters from supporters and phone calls from fellow Spaniards Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez urging him to carry on playing. "It was nice that they were all thinking about me, I really appreciated it," added Ballesteros, who used his time off to inspect two courses he is building near Madeira and San Roque.

John Daly returns to Germany to defend the title he won last year, as does the man he beat by a shot, Padraig Harrington.

"It's good to see Seve back," Harrington said. "He brings something to every tournament without a doubt. We would all like to see him playing well but he has to eventually sit back and realise he has nothing to prove. He has won five majors and who else is going to do that?"

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor