Reports from La Paz Hospital in Spain suggest that Seve Ballesteros is responding well to surgery on his brain tumour.

Ballesteros was first taken ill earlier this month when he fainted at Madrid Airport on route to a golf exhibition in Germany, and since then the Spaniard has undergone three operations.

“The patient has a favourable trend in his neurological status but needs to be further controlled in the Intensive Care Unit,” said a hospital statement.

Surgery had been complicated due to swelling on the brain, which needed urgent attention to relieve dangerously high pressure.  

Arguably the most famous name in golf – certainly during his generation – Ballesteros was forced to retire last year after troublesome back injuries made it impossible for him to compete.

Known for his unrivalled and spectacular short game, the five-time Major winner relished a fight on the course and rarely came off second best.

The news that Seve Ballesteros is responding well to surgery will be welcomed by the golfing world that had largely been on hold praying for his recovery.  

Seve Ballesteros picture gallery