Return to the Golf Today Home PageAll the latest golf newsCoverage of all the worlds major toursFor all your golfing needsGolf Course DirectoryOut on the courseGolf related travelWhats going on, message board, links and more!
Worldwide Feature Articles
Top Stories
PGA: Stephen Ames coasts to six shot win
PGA: Tiger Woods ends difficult week with 75
Euro: Van de Velde ends 13 year victory wait
Stephen Ames vaults to World No. 27
Boost for the Philippine Open
Tiger Woods misses practice to be with father

Ballesteros returns to competitive action

Severiano Ballesteros, ready to talk only about his successes rather than his failures of the past few years, was at pains yesterday to insist rumours of his demise had been greatly exaggerated.

In fact the 45-year-old winner of five majors takes on young bloods such as Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen today in the Madeira Island Open with some of his old belief in his game.

Last summer Ballesteros's retirement was forecast by many a pundit when he limped home from the Irish Open with his game again in tatters, subsequently missing the Open at Muirfield by his own volition. The proud Spaniard never admitted defeat, though, and shrugged off those who wrote him off. And after another six months' break he is determined to carry on.

"I am not going to tell you what will happen in the future, I can only say I have good vibrations and a good desire," said Ballesteros, who played only nine events last year, one of them here where he has found moderate success when it has been misery almost everywhere else. Moderate success for Ballesteros means making a cut.

He said: "I believe in myself. I did say my motivation was low but to pack up and go home is the easiest thing to do. All I have to do is prove to myself I can compete."

Ballesteros, 247th in Europe last year and off the scale on the world rankings after six years in the wilderness, refused to talk about his swing woes, adding: "I am not talking about anything from the past, especially if it is negative. Ask me how I won the Open in 1984, the Masters in 1980 and 1983. There have been too many negatives in the papers."

If things do go wrong here Ballesteros does have another local interest. He is about to start building a 36-hole layout across the water from Madeira on the island of Porto Santo.

Derksen, a nobody in the golfing world until his surprise victory in the Dubai Dessert Classic two weeks ago, finds himself the centre of attraction in Madeira after a week celebrating at home. He is the highest-ranked player on the order of merit at sixth and, of course, warranted a place in yesterday's pro-am. That was after a quick U-turn by tournament organisers. Only three weeks ago he had sent an e-mail requesting a place in the pro-am, but was turned down.

The Dutchman does not start favourite. That label belongs to the highest world-ranked player here, Welshman Bradley Dredge, who is 72nd on the global rankings. Jarmo Sandelin and Andrew Coltart are two other strongly fancied starters.


This years news archive | Email this page to a friend | Return to top of page