Ballesteros Requests US Exemptions

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Seve Ballesteros, in an attempt to improve his record of six straight missed cuts at the Masters, has written to four tournaments preceding the Masters and requested exemptions.
 
Three are in Florida - The Ford Championship at Doral, the Honda Classic and the Bay Hill Invitational Presented by MasterCard. The fourth is the BellSouth Classic in Atlanta the week preceding the Masters, and the BellSouth has reportedly agreed to the request.
 
Ballesteros has suffered back problems the last few years but has embarked on a rigorous exercise program of Pilates. He believes the exercise program will pay dividends - that, plus beginning competitive play earlier in the season. Ballesteros will be 47 years old during Masters week.
 
Jim Bell, the tournament director at Bay Hill, confirmed that his tournament has received the Ballesteros correpondence. However, Bay Hill will not decide on its exemptions until later on in February, Bell said.
 
A source close to Bay Hill indicated, however, that Ballesteros probably will be given the exemption. The source also said that the Players Championship near Jacksonville, Fla., also likely will give Ballesteros an exemption.