Pebble Beach Hosts Charity Tournament in Honor of Golf Great Seve Ballesteros
November 26, 2012
Seve Ballesteros is widely recognized as one of the greatest golfers the sport has ever seen, with a short game pure as the Pyrenees. So the par-three, nine-hole Peter Hay Course at Pebble Beach was a natural choice for a charity tournament geared to honor the late pitch-and-putt magician.
Born Severiano Ballesteros on April 9, 1957, the Spanish golfer came from a family of top golfers, including his three older brothers who went pro, and his uncle Ramon Sota, who was a top European golfer in the 1960s. Hence the young Ballesteros began playing and caddying in his hometown of Pedrena early on, competing in his first tournament at age 10.
He turned pro just shy of his 17th birthday. By 18, he was already counted among the games heavy hitters, finishing second to Johnny Miller at the 1976 British Open at Royal Birkdale.
Ballesteros would go on to win some 80 tournaments, including five major championships, and was ranked No. 1 in the world during the mid-1980s. He was the first European golfer to wear the green jacket at Augusta National and became a pioneer in the European golf scene before rallying the Euros to several Ryder Cup championships as a player and coach in the 1980s.
In October 2008 Ballesteros collapsed at the Madrid Airport; tests revealed a large malignant brain tumor. In response to what he called the “toughest match of his life,” Ballesteros set up the Seve Ballesteros Foundation in partnership with Cancer Research U.K. to help make an impact on brain cancer research and ultimately find a cure. He died from his tumor in May of 2011, three years after being diagnosed.
Currently, Cancer Research U.K. is the world’s largest cancer-specific charity and the Seve Ballesteros Foundation looks to help the 9,300 people diagnosed with brain and nervous system tumors each year.
Nephew and former manager Ivan Ballesteros was a witness to the ups and downs of Seve’s life and continues to support his uncle in the fight against cancer. “I am very happy that Seve’s Foundation will benefit from the Seve Ballesteros Legends Tournament at Pebble Beach this year,” he says. “Seve played at Pebble Beach many times throughout his career and loved its challenges, so it is fitting that a tournament is played there to honor him.”
On Thursday, Nov. 29, 18 teams—nine from the U.S. and nine from the U.K.—will take to the tightly woven holes of the Peter Hay par-three course at Pebble Beach to play, remember and honor the late Ballesteros by raising money for his charity, in a format reminiscent of the Ryder Cup he loved so much. This will be the Seve Ballesteros Foundation’s first such event.
Each four person team will be joined by a celebrity or golf legend, including: Pebble Beach Pro-Am favorite George Lopez; comedian and artist Cheech Marin; Peter Weller of Robocop and Star Trek fame; and “Dancing with the Stars” judge Len Goodman.
The intimate environs of the small course should help keep the mood light and festive with DJs spinning, food and wine bars available at each hole and TV screens on hand to broadcast all the action to spectators on the ground and in the grandstands.
The competitors will play the Hay course twice, with a barbecue lunch served halfway through. A champagne reception and charity gala dinner at the exclusive Beach & Tennis Club will follow the tournament offering entertainment, prizes and a charity auction to cap off the days fundraising.