n the heart of his closest legacy, in his Terruca, the Santa Marina Golf Club, a leg-breaking layout that, as José Manuel Carriles recalled, has much of the imprint of Severiano Ballesteros in its design, since not a grain of earth is removed outside from his site, the genius had a unique tribute on a Wednesday morning of sun and flies.
Severiano Ballesteros tribute
It was in the style that Seve would have wanted. A competition, because the Cantabrian understood life that way. And in pairs, where he earned part of his legend in the Ryder Cup. Between two friends, José María Olazábal y Carriles, on one side, and two admirers, Carlota Ciganda, the best Spanish golfer in history, and Ander Martínez, the president of the Association of Golf Professionals in Spain (APG), the head of all of them.
The veterans won -although it was friendly, it is counted, by 3 and 2, that Seve would not have hidden it either-, those who lived the most experiences next to him. "He had an aura that is not easy to find in another person.
Now that you talk about the landlines that they give on LIV [the multimillion-dollar circuit promoted by Arabia that has captured many world stars], it would have the same cache as Tiger Woods. Although Seve wouldn't play it," Olazábal said before revealing how he silenced Ballesteros with his mere presence, an entire London restaurant on a cold autumn night.
Carriles, son of the Pedreña locker room employee, also has his unique bond with the golfer who died in 2011. One afternoon on the club's practice field, he asked his mother to leave him alone with the five-time champion.
He had heard his name around town, but it was the first time she had seen him. "And with the balls that he was throwing he picked them up and I made him an S and a giant B. Years later I reminded him several times and he didn't remember.
But I do." Ciganda, from another era, growing this season, admired in equal parts the furthest away (in age), Seve, and the closest, the Olazábal dolphin. "Flipo with Chema's short game," insisted the Navarrese, whose driver was not enough this time.
Digging into her memory, Carlota talked about her trips to Pedreña when she was in lower categories with the territorial teams. "And there was Seve always giving balls. Then I saw him on video, although I also remember that I went with my father to El Saler to a tournament.
He was no longer in his prime, and the tee shots went very wide, like the But then I recovered in an amazing way", he explained with the devotion with which Ander remembered 10 minutes of a master class in a bunker that no longer exists in Pedreña.
"I was super nervous, but it was a magical moment." Olazábal was already in charge of recalling his essence on hole 7. Ball to the woods, second shot to a trough, he took it out and putted. "This is a tribute to Seve, isn't it? Well, we'll have to play in his style," he joked.