Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Seve Ballesteros: the king of Castledawson

One sunny day in 1980 golf legend Ballesteros put Moyola on the map

Spanish golf legend Seve Ballesteroshas died at the age of 54
Spanish golf legend Seve Ballesteroshas died at the age of 54
(FILE PHOTO) The family of golfing legend Seve Ballesteros have announced on May 6, 2011 that his health is worsening, following his battle with a brain tumour in 2008.Jose-Maria Olazabal of Spain uses the shoulders of Seve Ballesteros also of Spain to get a better view during the 29th Ryder Cup Matches on 28th September 1991 at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, USA. The USA team defeated Europe with a score of 14.5pts - 13.5pts. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) The family of golfing legend Seve Ballesteros have announced on May 6, 2011 that his health is worsening, following his battle with a brain tumour in 2008.Jul 1988: Seve Ballesteros in full cry during the British Open at Royal Lytham St Annes Golf Course in England. Ballesteros went on to win the Open title. \ Mandatory Credit: Dave Cannon /Allsport
(FILE PHOTO) The family of golfing legend Seve Ballesteros have announced on May 6, 2011 that his health is worsening, following his battle with a brain tumour in 2008.1984: Seve Ballesteros of Spain holds the Claret Jug aloft after winning the British Open at St. Andrews Golf Club in Scotland. \ Mandatory Credit: David Cannon/Allsport
(FILE PHOTO) The family of golfing legend Seve Ballesteros have announced on May 6, 2011 that his health is worsening, following his battle with a brain tumour in 2008.19 OCT 1993: SEVE BALLESTEROS OF SPAIN PLAYS A TEE SHOT DURING A SLAZENGER DAY AT WISLEY GOLF CLUB IN SURREY ENGLAND. BALLESTEROS IS SEEN IN SILHOUETTE IN FRONT OF A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET WHILST COMPLETING HIS ROUND.
(FILE PHOTO) Spanish Golf Legend Seve Ballesteros Dies At 54.Charismatic former World No. 1, five time Major winner, five time Ryder Cup winner, both as a player and as captainand winner of the European Tour's Order of Merit on six occasions.http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=113809426 28 Sep 1997: European team captain Seve Ballesteros proudly holds the trophy after victory over the USA in the Johnnie Walker Ryder Cup at the Valderrama Golf Club in Sotogrande in Spain. \ Mandatory Credit: Stephen Munday /Allsport
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 07: Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain wears a black ribbon on the first tee, following news of the death of Seve Ballesteros, during the third round of the Open de Espana at the Real Club de Golf El Prat on May 7 , 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) Spanish Golf Legend Seve Ballesteros Dies At 54.Charismatic former World No. 1, five time Major winner, five time Ryder Cup winner, both as a player and as captainand winner of the European Tour's Order of Merit on six occasions.http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=113809426 Seve Ballesteros of Spain acknowledges the crowd after holing his putt on the 18th green to win the British Open at the Royal Lytham Golf Club in Lancashire, England, July 21, 1979. \ Mandatory Credit: Steve Powell/Allsport
(FILE PHOTO) Spanish Golf Legend Seve Ballesteros Dies At 54.Charismatic former World No. 1, five time Major winner, five time Ryder Cup winner, both as a player and as captainand winner of the European Tour's Order of Merit on six occasions.http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=113809426 Spanish golfer Severiano Ballesteros in his home town of Pedrena, Spain, with the Ryder Cup, June 1997. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) Spanish Golf Legend Seve Ballesteros Dies At 54.Charismatic former World No. 1, five time Major winner, five time Ryder Cup winner, both as a player and as captainand winner of the European Tour's Order of Merit on six occasions.http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=113809426 15 Sep 1985: (L to R) Manuel Pinero, Seve Ballesteros, Jose-Maria Canizares and Jose Rivero of the European team hold the trophy after victory over the USA in the Ryder Cup at the Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England. \ Mandatory Credit: David Cannon /Allsport
(FILE PHOTO) Spanish Golf Legend Seve Ballesteros Dies At 54.Charismatic former World No. 1, five time Major winner, five time Ryder Cup winner, both as a player and as captainand winner of the European Tour's Order of Merit on six occasions.http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=113809426 KILLENARD, IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Nick Faldo, Captain of The Great Britain and Ireland Team with Seve Ballesteros, Captain of The European Team during the third day morning greensomes at the Seve Trophy 2007 held at The Heritage Golf and Spa Resort on September 29, 2007 in Killenard, Ireland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) Spanish Golf Legend Seve Ballesteros Dies At 54.Charismatic former World No. 1, five time Major winner, five time Ryder Cup winner, both as a player and as captainand winner of the European Tour's Order of Merit on six occasions.http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=113809426 KILLENARD, IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Seve Ballesteros, Captain of The European Team, plays a bunker shot during the Pro-Am for the Seve Trophy 2007 held at The Heritage Golf and Country Club on September 26, 2007 in Killenard, Ireland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Spanish golfer Severiano "Seve" Ballesteros at the Royal Dublin Golf Club, during the Irish Open, 20th July 1986. The golfing great died May 6, 2011 after a two-year battle following being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, according to published reports. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) The family of golfing legend Seve Ballesteros have announced on May 6, 2011 that his health is worsening, following his battle with a brain tumour in 2008.28 Sep 1997: European team captain Seve Ballesteros proudly holds the trophy after victory over the USA in the Johnnie Walker Ryder Cup at the Valderrama Golf Club in Sotogrande in Spain. \ Mandatory Credit: Rusty Jarrett /Allsport
Seve Ballesteros with the claret jug after winning the 1984 Open
Seve Ballesteros, Captain of The European Team reacts to a putt during the Pro-Am for the Seve Trophy 2007 held at The Heritage Golf and Country Club on September 26, 2007 in Killenard, Ireland.
Seve Ballesteros, left, gets the Masters green jacket from last year's winner, Fuzzy Zoeller, after winning the 1980 Masters in Augusta, Ga., in this April 13, 1980.
Seve Ballesteros: Golf/ At Moyola Park Golf Club. 4/8/1980 All eyes on Seve - and the ball - when he paraded his vast array of skills at Castledawson.
Seve Ballesteros: Golf/ At Moyola Park Golf Club. 4/8/1980 Young autograph hunters surround the Spanish star.
26 Sep 1987: Seve Ballesteros of the European team celebrates with captain Tony Jacklin during the Ryder Cup at Muirfield Village GC in Dublin, Ohio, USA.
Seve Ballesteros tips his visor to the gallery as they sing happy birthday to him on the 9th hole of the Par-3 Tournament, prior to The Masters, at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., in this April 9, 2003
Golf legend Seve Ballesteros waves as he appears in public for the first time after surgery on a cancerous brain tumor next to Racing de Santander's president Miguel Angel Revilla, right, before a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Racing de Santander and Almeria at the Sardinero stadium in Santander, Spain, on Sunday , May 3, 2009.

Golf legend Seve Ballesteros was crowned the 'King of Castledawson' one glorious summer's day in 1980.

Thousands of people turned out to watch the charismatic sportsman's skill during an exhibition match at Moyola Park Golf Club in Co Londonderry.

The visit to the Castledawson club on August 11, 1980 cost $20,000, but former Moyola club president and Ulster club captain, William Cassidy, said it was worth every dollar, as the Spanish pin-up's visit turned around the fortunes of the struggling club.

He was world number one at the time and played with Royal Portrush's David Young, Des Smyth and Peter McEvoy.

Mr Cassidy (75), from Bellaghy, told the Belfast Telegraph he has great memories of the historic day the "swashbuckling character" made his mark in Castledawson.

At the time the former school principal was involved in promoting Irish entertainment acts and he was asked to book someone.

Amazing Seve Ballesteros shot .... the genius at work

Seve Ballesteros weaves his magic



It was quickly decided the Boomtown Rats were out and Seve Ballesteros was in.

"We were only open three years and the club was going nowhere. I didn't have a clue how to go about it," he said.

"An introduction was then made to his management in London.

" The fee of $20,000 was agreed and the contract signed.

"It was the scoop of a lifetime. Nobody believed he was coming. They all thought it was a joke.

"He had just won the US Masters and the British Open the year before. He was such a flamboyant player.

"He took part in a clinic in the morning and demonstrated amazing skill. His playing defied logic and he put Moyola on the map.

"His English was very limited and I do remember him commenting, 'you have many sheep here'!

"Every society and corporate do wanted to play Moyola and they still do. Our membership jumped from 100 players to several hundred after this visit.

"Seve was the King of Castledawson and the Tiger Woods of his day."

Mr Cassidy said the golfer has had a huge impact on the world of golf. A sentiment shared by Moyola club professional Randal Evans, who said Ballesteros was a "phenomenal player".

Following Ballesteros' death Holywood golfer Rory McIlroy told his online followers: "Seve is and always will be what is great about the game of golf.

"A true legend in every way. An inspiration for so many people. RIP."



BACKGROUND

Seve Ballesteros died on May 7, following a protracted battle with cancer.

He passed away aged 54, surrounded by his family at home in Pedrena, northern Spain.

During his career he claimed 87 titles.

He won the Open in 1979, 1984 and 1988 and became the first European to win the US Masters in 1980, repeating the feat in 1983.

He also enjoyed a successful Ryder Cup career as both player and captain - playing in eight Ryder Cups and winning 20 points from 37 matches before guiding Europe to victory over the United States at Valderrama in 1997.

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