Seve ‘moment’ tops Europe bags
Seve Ballesteros may have died in May 2011, but his memory will be present all the way with Europe's Ryder Cup team when they defend the trophy against the United States this week.
In a homage to the Spanish great, the white bags of the European players will carry high-up on their front the silhouette of an iconic image of him taken when he sunk the winning putt to win the Open Championship at St Andrews in 1984.
That occasion, "El Momento" as Ballesteros referred to it, was "the happiest moment of my whole sporting life" he said, and the image in silhouette was what he adopted as his business logo. He also had it tatooed on his left forearm.
Many players thought it should also become the symbol of the European Tour after his death following a long battle with cancer.
European Captain Jose María Olazabal revealed the special tribute to Ballesteros on Tuesday morning when the European Team emerged for their first practice round.
"We felt that this was one way that Seve could be with us every step of the way. This is the first match since he sadly passed away and a fitting tribute to a true champion and a great friend." he said.
"Seve was an important part of the Ryder Cup because of the way he played and conducted himself from his opening match in 1979.
"This is the first time since then that he has not been present in anyway because in 2010 he was able to talk to everyone via the telephone.
"Seve set a wonderful example to generations of golfers and for me there are many, many memories particularly involving The Ryder Cup.
"Now the best tribute we can pay to Seve is to go on playing for him and his image will certainly ensure he is alongside us throughout the week."
England's Justin Rose said that the fact that Olazabal was the team captain this year made it all the more special to have the memory of Ballesteros present in some way.
The two of them played 15 times together in foursomes and fourballs and their record of 11 wins and two halves from 15 matches is a record for the competition.
"I think with Jose Maria, you have Seve Ballesteros in terms of a link and as a partnership in The Ryder Cup," he said.
"It's fantastic that Jose Maria is the captain, and you know had Seve been around, I'm sure he would have been a big part of this team, and it's nice that he is still a big part of this team."
Olazabal was silent on any further homages to Ballesteros that might be in the works, with some reports suggesting that his team plan to wear the navy jumper, trousers and white shirt so associated with Ballesteros in Sunday's singles.