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Stunning St. Andrews sand art pays tribute to Seve Ballesteros on 10th anniversary of his death


Seve Ballesteros was one of golf’s greatest artists, escapist and otherwise. Among his 50 career victories—still the most on the European Tour—the Open Championship was his grandest canvas, the legendary Spaniard having hoisted the claret jug on three occasions.

So, it seems fitting that Ballesteros, who died 10 years ago Friday, would be honored with an incredible and larger-than-life sand art display adjacent to the Old Course at St. Andrews.

The rendering is of photographer David Cannon’s indelible photo of a fist-pumping Ballesteros on the 18th green, where the Spaniard birdied the final hole for a 69 in a two-stroke victory over Tom Watson and Bernhard Langer in the 1984 Open. The win, one of five in majors for Ballesteros, marked his second in the Open, the others coming at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 1979 and 1988. He also won the Masters in 1980 and 1983.

“This is simply amazing,” Ballesteros’ daughter Carmen replied to the stunning display on Instagram. “Thank you so much.”

Added Sky Sports on-course reporter Wayne “Radar” Riley: “I had the privilege of playing with the great man many times. He is the Mozart of golf. He painted a picture in his head and played that masterpiece.”

A team of four sand artists from London-based Sand In Your Eye created the image and it took about six hours to complete.

Ballesteros, who passed away at the age of 54 from brain cancer, will also be honored in a series of other works commissioned by the R&A, including a feature-length documentary, a photo book by Cannon and an 18-month exhibition at the British Golf Museum in St. Andrews.