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Ballesteros: The mentor remembered

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Mixed amid the mountain of praise for the late Seve Ballesteros came a litany of stories from younger players who were mentored and given advice by the Spanish legend.

Even Andres Romero, too young to remember Ballesteros’ last major victory (1988), benefited from his guidance at the 2006 Open Championship. A late addition to the field, Romero arrived at Royal Liverpool late Monday of championship week and was told by Angel Cabrera to meet him on the first tee the next morning for a practice round.

Included in the group was Ballesteros.

“When I arrived to the tee it was like wow,” said Romero, who tied for eighth in his first British Open. “I enjoyed it a lot. We talked a lot and it was a great experience.”

Ballesteros’ best piece of advice that day? “Always stay away from the bunkers,” he smiled.

Sergio Garcia, a protégé of Ballesteros, played numerous rounds with Ballesteros from a young age and sought advice from his elder countryman on numerous occasions.

“It’s a shame that some of the young guys didn’t get to know him more,” Garcia said.