FITTING TRIBUTE TO SEVE’S ROYAL ROLE


Seve Ballesteros’ peerless contribution to golf was recognised in a fitting manner, as a tree dedicated to his memory was planted at the luxurious Empire Hotel and Country Club in Brunei.

The seven star resort is the host venue for the Sixth Edition of the Royal Trophy, the Event founded by Seve as the final link in his golfing legacy. The Spanish golfing legend achieved great success as an individual – winning five Majors and more than 90 tournaments worldwide – and carved a reputation as one of the finest Ryder Cup exponents of all time.

He used the Ryder Cup as the model for the Asia vs Europe match-up at the Royal Trophy, and his prediction that it would become established as a hugely important Event has quickly been fulfilled. The sixth edition is being played in tribute to Seve, who passed away last year after a courageous battle against brain cancer.

The Bucida tree dedicated to Seve was planted by his nephew, Ivan Ballesteros, the Royal Trophy’s Managing Director. It stands in the same grove where the Asian and European Captains and their players planted trees during Thursday’s Opening Ceremony. And Ivan said it was a tribute Seve would have enjoyed.

He explained: “Seve spent a lot of his playing career hitting into trees – and then playing incredible recovery shots out of them! So you should not be surprised that he loved trees. He could tell you the full botanical name of every tree at his home in Spain, and he was very careful in choosing which ones he would surround himself with.

“He even chose the exact Magnolia tree where his Ashes were laid, so he would certainly have appreciated this ceremony.”

The spot is also marked by a plaque, bearing the inscription: ‘In memory of Seve Ballesteros (1957-2011) great golfing legend and founder of the Royal Trophy’. The plaque is also autographed by Ivan Ballesteros.

The ceremony was attended by Brunei’s Minister of Industry and Prime Resources, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Yahya Bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar.

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The sixth edition of the Royal Trophy – Europe vs Asia Golf Championship is held at The Empire Hotel & Country Club in the Sultanate of Brunei on 14-16 December 2012. The continents compete in a series of 16 foursomes, four-ball and singles matches. The Royal Trophy Players’ Committee is comprised of Sir Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam OBE, José Maria Olazábal, Paul McGinley, Isao Aoki, Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki and Jeev Milkha Singh. The Royal Trophy is sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organization and is promoted internationally by Entertainment Group (Asia) Limited.

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