Golfing great Ballesteros has brain tumor
Seve Ballesteros has a brain tumor and will undergo a biopsy Tuesday.
The five-time major winner announced the news Sunday in a statement issued by Madrid's La Paz Hospital. It was unknown whether the tumor was benign or malignant.
The 51-year-old golfing great was admitted to a hospital for tests after briefly losing consciousness last week. Ballesteros, who made the announcement after telling his three children and their mother, said doctors will decide how to proceed after the biopsy.
"After an in-depth check up which has been carried out on me in the La Paz Hospital they have detected a brain tumor," Ballesteros said in the statement.
The former Ryder Cup star, who won a record 50 times on the European tour, also was admitted to a hospital last year and diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
"Throughout my career I have been among the best at overcoming challenges on the golf course," Ballesteros said. "Now I want to be the best confronting the hardest challenge of my life, with all my strength, counting on all of you who are sending me encouraging messages."
Ballesteros did not give any more details on the test results — including if the tumor was benign or malignant.
"I have always shown my solidarity with those people who face illness, including those whose (illnesses) are much worse than mine," Ballesteros said.
"Now my wish is to ask for respect towards my family and especially my children. We will keep you informed."
Jose Maria Olazabal, who visited Ballesteros after playing in the Madrid Masters on Sunday, said his former Ryder Cup partner appeared to be in good physical shape.
"I saw Seve looking very well. We were speaking for quite a little while," Olazabal told Spanish news agency Efe. "I wish him a prompt recovery."
Ballesteros won the British Open three times and the Masters twice before retiring last year due to a long history of back pain. He has since focused mostly on golf course design.
Many credit Ballesteros' swashbuckling spirit and flare on the golf course for transforming the European game.
He could manufacture shots from just about anywhere, including a memorable one from a parking lot next to the 16th fairway at Royal Lytham & St. Annes on his way to victory at the 1979 British Open.
When the Ryder Cup competition was expanded to include continental Europe in 1979, Ballesteros helped beat the United States in 1985 to begin two decades of dominance. He also captained Europe to Ryder Cup victory on home soil in 1997 at Valdarrama.
Ballesteros and Olazabal teamed up to produce the most formidable partnership in Ryder Cup history, with an 11-2-2 record.