Severiano "Seve" Ballesteros Sota was a Spanish professional golfer, a World No. 1 who was one of the sport's leading figures from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. A member of a gifted golfing family, he won more than 90 international tournaments in an illustrious career, including five major championships between 1979 and 1988: The Open Championship three times, and the Masters Tournament twice. He gained attention in the golfing world in 1976, when at the age of 19 he finished second at The Open. He played a leading role in the re-emergence of European golf, helping the European Ryder Cup team to five wins both as a player and captain. He won the World Match Play Championship a record-tying five times. Widely known for his dashing and imaginative style of play, with a sublime short game and erratic driving of the golf ball, he is generally regarded as the greatest Continental European golfer of all time.
Ballesteros won a record 50 European Tour titles. He won at least one European Tour title for 17 consecutive years between 1976 and 1992. His final victory was at the 1995 Peugeot Spanish Open. Largely because of back-related injuries, Ballesteros struggled with form during the late 1990s. In spite of this, he continued to be involved in the game of golf, creating the Seve Trophy and running a golf course design business. Ballesteros eventually retired from competitive golf in 2007 because of continued poor form.