Seve Ballesteros was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at an emotional BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony on Sunday.

The 52 year-old legend from Spain, who won 87 tournaments and five Majors in his illustrious career, including three Opens and two Masters titles, was given the award in recognition of his undoubted contributions to the sport.

Ballesteros, who is currently recovering from a brain tumour that required four operations, was presented with the award at his Spanish home by his good friend and former Ryder Cup team-mate Jose Maria Olazabal.

In addition to his many victories in competitive golf, Ballesteros was a main figure behind the transformation of the European Tour. He was instrumental in Europe’s victory over the United States at the 1985 Ryder Cup and in 1997 fulfilled his lifelong ambition by captaining his the side to glory at Valderrama in Spain.

Ballesteros retired from golf in 2007 due to arthritic back and knee problems, but is now planning a farewell appearance at the Open next summer at St Andrews.

Meanwhile, current European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie led the tributes for the legendary Spanish golfer from the Sheffield Arena. “We wish you speedy recovery Seve and we hope to see you play at St Andrews in 2O10 during the Open Championship,” said Mongomerie.

“Many congratulations on this prestigious award.”

Where next?

Golf equipment: New Nike Victory Red range
Competitions: Win golf gear and prizes

 

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