Several top European golfers paid tribute to Seve Ballesteros by playing in a pro-am event to raise money for cancer charities. Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie, Graeme McDowell, Retief Goosen, Paul Casey, Justin Rose and Ross Fisher were among the competitors in the “Ole Seve” event at Wentworth, the site of this week’s BMW PGA Championship.The Spanish golfing icon passed away two weeks ago at age 54 after battling a malignant brain tumor for two-and-a-half years.
Olazabal, a close friend, said he has “lost a dear friend and we’ve all lost an icon, but he will always be present.”
Seve’s brother Manuel fought back tears as he spoke, saying, “He was the most charismatic player, the player with the most genius. But I have lost my brother, not a golfing genius, and he was someone I was very proud of.”
Monday’s event raised £618,000 for the Seve Ballasteros Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
A silent auction was held following the pro-am. Ian Poulter and Paul Casey reportedly dug the deepest into their pockets, giving tremendously generous donations. Poulter, who won the Volvo World Match Play on Sunday, tweeted a picture of Seve’s putter that he purchased.
Seve won seven times at Wentworth.