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Archive for Monday, October 13, 2008

Ballesteros confirms brain tumor

Golf great prepares for ‘hardest challenge’ of his life

October 13, 2008

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— After a career full of miraculous shots - including one from a parking lot during his first British Open win - Seve Ballesteros was preparing for the "hardest challenge" of his life Sunday after announcing he has a brain tumor.

The 51-year-old Ballesteros was set to undergo a biopsy Tuesday before doctors determine how to proceed.

"Throughout my career I have been among the best at overcoming challenges on the golf course," the five-time major winner said in a statement released by Madrid's La Paz hospital. "Now I want to be the best confronting the hardest challenge of my life, with all my strength, counting on all of you who are sending me encouraging messages."

Ballesteros was admitted to the hospital today after briefly losing consciousness.

"Once I had been able to inform my three children personally and their mother, I can now communicate to you the illness I am suffering from," Ballesteros said. "After an in-depth check up which has been carried out on me in the La Paz Hospital they have detected a brain tumor."

Ballesteros did not give any more details on the test results. It was unknown whether the tumor was benign or malignant.

"I have always shown my solidarity with those people who face illness, including those whose (illnesses) are much worse than mine," said Ballesteros, who was also admitted to a hospital last year when doctors discovered an irregular heartbeat. "Now my wish is to ask for respect towards my family and especially my children. We will keep you informed."

The Spaniard was well known for being able to manufacture a shot from anywhere, a feat that earned him the title "Car Park Champion" at the 1979 British Open. Ballesteros found the green from a parking lot next to the 16th fairway at Royal Lytham & St. Annes before sinking a long birdie putt on his way to his first major title.

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