Seve Ballesteros in Photos
Seve Ballesteros was always known for his ability to constantly escape trouble, even back in 1977. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros poses with his first of five majors championships, including three British Open titles, in 1979 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros helped Continental Europe join the Ryder Cup in 1979. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros always had flair, no matter what the result. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros strikes his famous pose after winning the 1984 British Open at St. Andrews. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros celebrates Europe's first win over the U.S. in the 1985 Ryder Cup. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros was always good for a great quote, including his famous answer to 'How did you four-putt?' Said Seve, 'I miss, I miss, I miss, I make.' (Getty Images)
Ballesteros and countryman Jose Maria Olazabal went 11-2-2 as a Ryder Cup team and helped the Europeans to victory for the first time on American soil in 1987. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros celebrates his third Open title in 1988 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros and Olazabal each won two Masters Tournaments. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros poses with one of his 50 European Tour trophies. (Getty Images)
Captain Ballesteros led Europe to victory in the 1997 Ryder Cup in Valderrama, Spain. (Getty Images)
Icon Ballesteros at icon Pebble Beach for the 1992 U.S. Open. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros as the image of intensity. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros with son Boldomero during his last British Open in 2006. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros won the Spanish Open three times, including his last European Tour victory in 2005. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros in his final Masters Tournament in 2007. (Getty Images)
Seve Ballesteros at his eponymous tournament. (Getty Images)
Ballesteros wore his logo – from his 1984 British Open triumph – on his sleeve and had it tattooed onto his arm. (Getty Images)
Fans celebrate Ballesteros' three claret jugs. (Getty Images)
Seve Ballesteros: April 9, 1957-May 7, 2011 (Getty Images)
Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake
Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.
While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.
“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.
Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.<
DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi
Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.
“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”
Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).
“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.”
Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.
Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace).
“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”
Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi
What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.
Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.
McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.
He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.
McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65).
Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds.
“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder
Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.
Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.
Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:
Filling in tomorrow for Corey Pavin that WD today @cbgolfchallenge I do things like this a lot to help events and asking for sponsors exemptions here but didn't get any help.— Ken Duke (@DukePGA) January 18, 2018
Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.
Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.