Seve Says Chemo Is Going Well

January 20, 2009

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Seve Ballesteros said test results following his first course of chemotherapy came back "quite good," an encouraging sign for the 51-year-old golf great.

The five-time major winner underwent four surgeries to remove a cancerous brain tumor after being admitted to a hospital on Oct. 6, when he fainted at Madrid's international airport.

"Fortunately the results were quite good," Ballesteros said Wednesday, in a statement posted on his Web site. "This Friday I shall begin my second chemotherapy course, which I hope and wish will be as effective as the first one."

Ballesteros, who underwent three operations in eight days at one point, said he was feeling better "day by day" thanks to the work of his physiotherapists.

"I am very motivated and working hard, although I am aware that my recovery will be slow and therefore I need to be patient and have a lot of determination," Ballesteros said. "For these reasons I am following strictly all the indications that the doctors are giving me."

Ballesteros said he continued to receive hundreds of letters, messages, cards and e-mails in support of what he has called "the hardest challenge of my life."

"I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their support and energy that is coming to me from all over the world and which is proving so good," he said.

Ballesteros is known for spectacular shots and fearless play that won him three British Opens and two Masters. He also recorded 50 career victories on the European Tour and is widely recognized as having transformed European golf.

After lobbying to have the Ryder Cup expanded to include continental Europe in 1979, Ballesteros helped beat the United States in 1985 to begin two decades of dominance. He also captained Europe to victory in 1997 at Valderrama, Spain.

Ballesteros retired in 2007 because of a long history of back pain and has since concentrated on golf course design.