Ryder Cup captains to join royalty to pay respects to Ballesteros
Majorca: Three former European Ryder Cup captains, royalty, politicians and sports administrators will all join players at the funeral of five-times major winner Seve Ballesteros in the small parish church of San Pedro de Pedrena on Wednesday.
Former Ryder Cup captains Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie will join Ballesteros` close friend Jose Maria Olazabal, the 2012 European captain, at the funeral along with Spain`s Crown Prince Felipe and Esperanaza Aguirre, the President of Madrid.
All of the country`s 422 golf clubs will also observe a minute`s silence on Wednesday, while the flag sticks for the Pro-Am of the Iberdrola Open in Majorca will have black ribbons attached.
The Pula Golf Club, which is hosting the European Tour event in Majorca, will also hold a memorial service at its chapel on Wednesday after the Pro-Am.
All of the players attending Ballesteros`s funeral in Pedrena will be given afternoon tee times for the first round of the Majorca tournament on Thursday.
South Africa`s Thomas Aiken, who won last week`s Spanish Open and dedicated the victory to Ballesteros, said the Spaniard`s death had been a huge shock for all players, but Olazabal in particular.
"We all knew last week in Barcelona how Seve`s passing affected Jose Maria and it was hard for none of us not to have tears in our eyes," Aiken said in Majorca. "I saw Jose Maria a few times last weekend and I could gather how he was feeling.”
"It`s just so sad for anyone, and someone as young as Seve, to pass away, and then for it to happen during a Spanish Open was remarkable.”
"It was only natural for me to dedicate my win to his memory and besides, I am sure any player last week would have done the same.”
"We owe that to him for what he`s done for the game of golf.”
"What a great human being he was. Not just as a golfer but as a person.”
"Golf is just a game and Seve made it that much better."