Legendary golfer Seve Ballesteros loses battle with brain tumour

Ballesteros was recuperating at his home after four operations on the tumour and a course of chemotherapy, but Friday his neurological conditions deteriorated and he passed away early Saturday.

“Today, at 2.10 a.m. Spanish time, Seve Ballesteros passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at his home in. The Ballesteros family is very grateful for all the support and gestures of love that have been received since Seve was diagnosed with a brain tumour on 5th October 2008 at Madrid Hospital la Paz. At this time the family asks for respect and privacy at such a painful time. Thank you very much,” read a statement on the Spanish golfer's website seveballesteros.com.

Ballesteros won 87 titles worldwide, 50 of them on the European Tour. He won three British Opens and two Masters titles and also helped revive Europe's fortunes in the biennial Ryder Cup team competition.

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said Ballesteros was an inspiration for European golfers.

"This is such a very sad day for all who love golf. Seve's unique legacy must be the inspiration he has given to so many to watch, support, and play golf, and finally to fight a cruel illness with equal flair, passion, and fierce determination. We have all been so blessed to live in his era. He was the inspiration behind The European Tour," O'Grady was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

Ballesteros had been battling brain cancer since collapsing at the airport in Madrid in October 2008. Since then he underwent four operations to remove the tumour and was in hospital for two months.

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