The European Tour has honoured Seve Ballesteros’ memory by re-naming the Players’ Player of the Year Award the Seve Ballesteros Award.
All European Tour members vote on the award every year. Henrik Stenson becomes the first recipient of the Seve Ballesteros Award after an outstanding 2016 season that saw him win the Open Championship, take the silver medal in the Olympic Games and win the European Tour’s Race to Dubai for the second time in four years.
“Having won the Players’ Player of the Year award once before, I know how special this award is,” Stenson said. “I am truly honored to be the first player to receive it after it has been renamed The Seve Ballesteros Award. Seve was one of my idols and an icon of the game, which makes it that much more special to receive this from my peers.”
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley made the announcement at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. Ballesteros won his 50th and last European Tour title there in 1995 when he won the Spanish Open.
“No golfer did more to popularise the game in Europe than Seve Ballesteros and it is a great privilege to be able to ensure that his name will live on, on the European Tour, with this award,” Pelley said.
Ballesteros, who died in 2011, would have been 60 this year. His birthday falls on April 9, the final round of the Masters. The dynamic Spaniard was the first European to win the green jacket, winning for the first time in 1980. He also won in 1983.
“On behalf of my brother Miguel, my sister Carmen and myself, I would like to thank everybody at the European Tour, and Keith Pelley in particular, for renaming the Players’ Player of the Year Award as The Seve Ballesteros Award,” Seve’s oldest son Javier said.
“It is a huge tribute to our father which will continue to keep his legacy alive. We are thrilled with the idea that the award voted for by the players themselves will be the one that lives on into the future and bears his name.
“Our father grew up and developed as a player on the European Tour and I’m sure he would be thrilled and very proud of such a recognition.”