Seve cancels Open appearance


Seve Ballesteros will not be making an emotional return to St Andrews next month after all, his doctors advising him against playing in the eve-of-Open four-hole Champions Challenge.

The three-time champion, who retired from competition in 2007, underwent repeated brain surgery after collapsing with a tumour two years ago, but had hoped to revisit the scene of his 1984 triumph.

He has revealed his decision not to play on his website following a visit to the same hospital in Madrid where the operations took place.

He commented: “I very much wanted to be at the British Open in St Andrews next month to personally thank all the golf fans and friends who have given me their support – not only during these two years when I have been recovering from my illness, but also to thank them for the affection they have shown during my golf career.

“I am aware that there might be people who have been preparing their trip to encourage and cheer me up. Hence, I do not want to disappoint anyone at the last minute and after listening to the doctors’ advice I have taken the difficult decision not to travel to St Andrews.”

The website statement said: “During his visit, Severiano Ballesteros underwent some tests which he repeats every three months. These check-ups are routine and monitor the progress of the Spanish athlete following his diagnosis of a brain tumour in October 2008.

“The medical team have informed him this morning that at this time he should not put himself under any undue stress or in potentially emotional situations.

“It is for this reason that they have advised him against travelling to St Andrews.”

Dr Cristóbal Belda, the oncologist who looks after Ballesteros at La Paz hospital said: “Despite the excellent general state that Mr Ballesteros enjoys, we do not think the trip to Scotland this coming July would be appropriate.

“It is important that Mr Ballesteros continues with a peaceful life and our advice has been not to travel to Scotland.”

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