Stellar field take part in Ballesteros tribute
Tuesday 24 May 2011
It was an emotional day here at the famous Surrey course yesterday as some of the game's biggest names gathered to play in a pro-am to raise funds for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
The sight of the likes of Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie, Graeme McDowell, Paul Casey and Justin Rose appearing in memory of Ballesteros was too much for his brother, Manuel, who broke down in tears.
Severiano died two weeks ago, but his foundation was set up after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008 and the partnership with the cancer charity has already raised £700,000. It was hoped the "Ole Seve" pro-am and last night's auction would take that over £1m.
It began a BMW PGA Championship week which is sure to see many tributes to the five-time major champion. The European Tour's flagship event tees off here on Thursday and everyone in the field is being asked to wear navy blue – Seve's trademark colour – on Friday.
A nice touch, but Olazabal, the European Ryder Cup captain, called on the European heavyweights to turn up for the Vivendi Seve Trophy in Paris in September. The Ryder Cup-style event clashes with the FedEx Cup play-offs in America. But Olazabal said: "I think it will be very important that every two years, with the support of the big names, we make it really big."
Tiger Woods yesterday fell to 12th in the world when the rankings were updated. The last time Woods was ranked outside the top 10 was April 1997, before he won the Masters for the first of his 14 majors. England's Lee Westwood, the world No 1, leads his countryman Luke Donald by just 0.05pt, with both playing at Wentworth this week. Ian Poulter, the winner of last week's Volvo World Match Play Championship, moves back up to 14th.
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