Golf great Seve Ballesteros dies at 54

Saturday May 7, 2011

Three time Open champion Severiano Ballesteros, one of golf's most flamboyant and charismatic players, has died after a long cancer battle.

Surrounded by his family, the 54-year-old passed away at his home in Cantabria, Spain, in the early hours of Saturday.

Seve, who was also the first European player to win the US Masters, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008 after losing consciousness at Barajas Airport in Madrid.

The five-time major winner had four operations to remove the tumour and also underwent chemotherapy.

His family has expressed gratitude for the "support and gestures of love" they had received and asked for "respect and privacy at such a painful time".

Tributes have flooded in from around the world including current world number one Lee Westwood who tweeted: "Lost an inspiration, genius, role-model, hero and friend. Seve made European golf what it is today. RIP Seve."

Photo: Getty

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