Ballesteros has brain tumor is undergoing tests

By Associated PressOctober 12, 2008, 4:00 pm
MADRID, Spain ' 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 Madrids 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.
 
Media at La Paz Hospital
Media crews gather outside La Paz Hospital for word on Seve Ballesteros' health condition. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros was admitted to the hospital Monday 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 swashbuckling Spaniard was well known for being able to manufacture a shot from just about anywhere, a feat that earned him the title Car Park Champion at the 1979 British Open. The Pedrena native 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.
 
During that final round, Ballesteros used his driver only nine times and hit the fairway once.
 
Jose Maria Olazabal, who visited Ballesteros after playing at the Madrid Masters on Sunday, said that his former Ryder Cup partner appeared in good physical shape.
 
I saw Seve looking very well. We were speaking for quite a little while, Olazabal told Spanish news agency Efe. I wish him a prompt recovery.
 
Ballesteros, who won a record 50 times on the European Tour, won the British Open three times and the Masters twice before retiring last year due to a long history of back pain. He has since focused mostly on golf course design.
 
Many credit Ballesteros spirit and flare on the golf course for transforming the European game.
 
When the Ryder Cup competition was expanded to include continental Europe in 1979, Ballesteros helped beat the United States in 1985 to begin two decades of dominance. He also captained Europe to Ryder Cup victory on home soil in 1997 at Valderrama.
 
Ballesteros and Olazabal teamed up to produce the most formidable partnership in Ryder Cup history, with an 11-2-2 record.
 
I want to thank from the bottom of my heart everyone who has shown interest with great fondness for my health, Ballesteros said in the statement. Many thanks. A big hug.
Getty Images

Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

Getty Images

Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

Getty Images

Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

Getty Images

Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.