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Legend Seve is still a major driving force for Europe

By Andy Hampson

The memory of Seve Ballesteros is again providing motivation for the European Ryder Cup team, Thomas Bjorn has revealed.

At Medinah two years ago, Europe's successful captain Jose Maria Olazabal took much inspiration from the past deeds of his friend and former team-mate Ballesteros.

Ballesteros, who died in 2011, played in eight Ryder Cups and captained Europe to victory in his home country of Spain, at Valderrama, in 1997.

The 2012 European team had images of Ballesteros on their bags and wore clothing in colours associated with him on the final day, when they memorably overcame a 10-6 deficit.

Bjorn was not a member of that team, but was involved as a vice-captain and did play under Ballesteros at Valderrama.

The 43-year-old Dane, who is making his third Ryder Cup appearance at Gleneagles this week, said: "Seve lives with us. He lives with the Ryder Cup more than anything, but he lives with us as a team. He's a huge inspiration to this team and he always will be.

"For us as a tour and as players, he is the most inspirational guy that's ever been, and fortunately I was lucky enough to play with him and be around him when he played. You couldn't have a man that stood for more of what European golf is all about. He will live with us forever."

One such point of reference for the Europeans can be seen at the first tee, with a Ballesteros quote written on the back of a grandstand which reads: "As a player and captain these are unforgettable moments when you are competing for your team-mates, your country and for the people of your continent."

Bjorn feels the European Tour, the organiser, is right to decorate parts of the course in this way.

He said: "There are quotes, there are pictures of him around, but that's because he deserves to be there. He deserves to be that person that inspires this team and inspires every golfer around the world.

"Seve is everything to European golf, and we will always remember that. He was a great man and I was fortunate to have him as a captain."

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