Seve Ballesteros has sent a letter of support to Jose Maria Olazabal and his team ahead of the Royal Trophy that sees Europe battle Asia in a matchplay format.

The Spanish legend handed over the captaincy role to compatriot Olazabal when it became clear he’d be unable to lead the team following brain tumour surgery.

But despite his absence nephew Ivan Ballesteros read out his uncle’s word’s of support at the opening ceremony.

“Even though I’m not there today, somehow my heart and my thoughts are there with you,” the letter read.

“I’m at home recovering and working hard every day. I will keep fighting and doing all in my heart and in my head to win my most difficult match.

“I hope I see you again next year, hopefully defending the title once again as captain of the European side.”

Olazabal revealed that his friend, winner of five Majors, is recovering well despite last year’s frightening ordeal.

“I’ve seen Seve a few times in the last few weeks. He’s actually doing very well considering what he has gone through.

“His spirits are very high, he’s really working hard at the rehab, he’s trying to recover completely and he’s getting stronger so he can get chemotherapy treatment and so on.

Where next?

Olazabal handed Royal Trophy captaincy
Seve Ballesteros returns home from hospital