Golfer Seve Ballesteros Passes Away

Seve Ballesteros, the Spanish sports icon who inspired both fans and fellow players with his devil-may-care attitude on the golf course, died Saturday after a long battle with cancer. He was 54.

Ballesteros passed away early Saturday at his home in the small Spanish town of Pedrena. He was surrounded by his family when he peacefully died, a statement posted on the late golfer’s website said. Ballesteros was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in October 2008 after he fainted while waiting to board a plane in a Madrid airport.

Ballesteros was best known for his impossible shots that for so many times resulted in a tournament victory. He won 91 tournaments throughout his life, including a record 50 times on the European Tour. Ballesteros, who notched his first victory at the age of 19, collected five majors—three British Open and two Masters—in a splendid professional career that began in 1974.

Ballesteros’ passing was immediately felt by his fellow players, with Jack Nicklaus saying that “today, golf lost a great champion and a great friend.” Ballesteros will be laid to rest on Wednesday in his hometown.