Seve row blights Spanish Open start

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The Independent Online

The feud between Seve Ballesteros and Sergio Garcia, who declined to play in last week's Seve Trophy, looks set to continue at the Spanish Open which begins today.

Ballesteros accused his fellow Spaniard of demanding appearance money to play in the Ryder Cup-style contest against Great Britain and Ireland at Druid's Glen. Garcia denied the allegations, saying he was already committed to playing in the WorldCom Classic in South Carolina.

"Seve will have to talk to me because he has said things that were not correct," insisted Garcia yesterday, "but if anything has to change, he maybe has to come and talk to me."

That cut little ice with Ballesteros. "You think I need to give an explanation?" he said. "He refused to play, he is supposed to give me an explanation."

The Open de Canarias was scheduled to be played in March but was cancelled due to funding problems and merged with the Spanish Open instead. The course itself is in good condition but only the basement of the clubhouse has been built. Despite this the tournament has managed to attract the US Open champion Retief Goosen as well as Garcia.