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Ole Seve! Invitational is Fitting Tribute

Pro-am and auction raise money for charities

Posted May 24, 2011 by Chris White

Wentworth Golf Club hosted the event and will also host the PGA Championship

24 leading professionals and their amateur teams gave up their time to come together at Wentworth yesterday to raise money for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

Stars such as Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Colin Montgomerie and José Maria Olazábal were all there to take part in the Olé Seve! Invitational.

The event raised a staggering £618,168, with money being shared between the two charities. The day involved the pro am, which was won by England’s Ross Fisher and his team, and an evening auction, hosted by auctioneer Jonny Gould.

Among the items up for auction were a Rolex Daytona watch, which was once owned by Ballesteros, selling at £65,000, and a gold Ping Putter, a replica of the iconic model used by the Spaniard when he won The Open at St Andrews in 1984, raising £55,000.

Ivan Ballesteros, nephew of Seve and long-time spokesman for the Ballesteros family, commented: “The Seve Ballesteros Foundation is Seve’s biggest legacy. He fought all the way and lost the battle 16 days ago, but he started the Foundation for research so that other people can win these battles.”

CEO of Cancer Research UK, Harpal Kumar, said: “Seve’s impact on people was tremendous and he wanted to help these people through his Foundation. Sadly, brain cancer was the one bunker he couldn’t get out of, but all the funds raised here are ring fenced for research into this form of cancer.”

Ballesteros’s great friend José Maria Olazábal closed the function with an emotional speech in honour of the 5-time Major winner.

He said: “Unfortunately, we lost a great man and a dear friend, but it is not a sad time because Seve lived life to the full. I never saw any other player with his heart and determination. He was a pioneer. He opened doors and changed the image of golf into the truly exciting game it is today. He was a true genius. When the cancer struck he had two goals – first, never to give up, and the second was to help as many people as possible. That’s why he started the Foundation and is why this is a very important day. I am sure he would be very proud of what everyone has achieved today.”

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