Seve Ballesteros has been named as the most popular Ryder Cup golfer in the tournament’s history by UK golf fans following research conducted by the Ryder Cup Madrid 2018 bid.

Ballesteros, who played for Europe in a total of nine Ryder Cups from 1979-1995 was voted by 32% of respondents as their favourite European golfer of all time ahead of Sir Nick Faldo (25%) and this year’s European captain, Colin Montgomerie (14%).

The legendary Spaniard was also cited as the best European Ryder Cup captain in history, following Europe’s memorable 1997 success at Valderrama – putting him ahead of other European golf legends Tony Jacklin (24%) and Faldo (14%).

UK golf fans have identified Spain (60%) as the country with the strongest Ryder Cup heritage out of all the bidding nations for the 2018 Ryder Cup; ahead of Portugal (12%) and France (9%).

Ballesteros, said: “It is extremely humbling for me to see the support I have from golf fans in the United Kingdom and a great honour to be chosen as their favourite Ryder Cup player.

“I have been fortunate enough to experience some fantastic Ryder Cup moments during my career and play alongside great friends and some of the best players in history.

“The Ryder Cup is one of the greatest sporting events and will always hold a special place in my heart. Everyone knows how much I love match play and team golf events in general.

“It would be fantastic to see the Ryder Cup come to Madrid in 2018 for what I’m sure would be an unforgettable event. Hopefully we will see a victorious European Team at Celtic Manor this year!”

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