Friday, June 25, 2010

Seve Won't Make Return At St. Andrews

What was expected to be a highlight of next month's Open Championship at St. Andrews -- the emotional return of Seve Ballesteros to play in the four-hole champions challenge on the Wednesday before the tournament -- apparently won't happen.

Reports indicate Ballesteros, who is fighting brain cancer, has been advised by his doctors not to make the trip to St. Andrews, where he had hoped to return publicly to the game for what would have been a stirring afternoon in the old gray town. Instead, the event will go on without Ballesteros, whose condition apparently remains very serious.

Ballesteros has never been fully appreciated here for his impact on the game in Europe. The obvious comparison is to Arnold Palmer and it's an accurate one. Like Palmer, Ballesteros brought the game to the public with his style and personality. He had hoped to return to St. Andrews, site of perhaps his most dramatic victory, and to share one more afternoon on the links with other former winners of the claret jug.

Instead, Ballesteros will remain at home, no doubt heartbroken at what he will miss. And, at St. Andrews, Ballesteros will be greatly missed, as well.