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European Tour plans tribute to ailing Ballesteros

European Tour plans tribute to ailing Ballesteros

The European Tour is looking to pay tribute to the ailing Seve Ballesteros and the addition of a player's award named after the Spanish great looks the most likely option.
European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said that a Player of the Year award voted by players was being discussed, while the tour was also keen for the Seve Trophy tournament to be hosted in Spain in 2009.
"We might use a model of Seve's hands on the golf club on the trophy that goes with (the event). We'll certainly do our best to keep the Seve Trophy by name going," O'Grady told reporters Sunday from the Volvo Masters.
Ballesteros remains in stable condition in the intensive care unit of Madrid's La Paz hospital after undergoing three brain surgeries on a cancerous tumor. The five-time major champion, often credited with revitalizing European golf and its Ryder Cup play, has been hospitalized since Oct. 6 after fainting at Madrid's international airport.
"We will find a way of working with ... a great monument, if you like, for him," O'Grady said. "I just think it would be a lovely recognition of his talent and his goodwill that it (Seve Trophy) was played in Spain in this particular year. Everybody can do it by pitching up to play, if they respect him."
O'Grady said that the event would likely change in the future from a match between continental European and Britain to European Tour players against "Asia, against Japan, against our developing markets, India," with China and Thailand keen to host the event.
Sergio Garcia has already pledged to support the Seve Trophy and O'Grady expected Jose Maria Olazabal to also get involved as the European Tour takes over the running of the tournament.
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NO EUROPEAN TOUR FOR LEFTY? Phil Mickelson is unlikely to join the European Tour in 2009, according to a senior official.
European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said discussions with the two-time major winner were still ongoing but that a scheduling conflict would likely keep the No. 2 ranked lefty from signing up as widely speculated.
"His exact words were if he's not certain he can play 12 (events), he won't join," O'Grady told reporters Sunday from the Volvo Masters. "He would not join and play 11 and walk away or 10 and walk away. But he's watching it, it's in progress."
O'Grady said he would meet with Mickelson by Thursday at the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai _ where Mickelson is defending his title _ but said he would be "very surprised" to count on Mickelson next season.
O'Grady was encouraged by the news that American player Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas of Colombia had joined the tour for next season and that Masters champion Trevor Immelman, Adam Scott, Luke Donald and Robert Allenby would all feature in the 12 events necessary to retain their cards.
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2018 RYDER CUP BIDS: Six European countries are expected to bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup amid speculation it might not be long before the competition is held in the Middle East.
European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said that the tour had received "formal approaches" from Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal to host the traditional United States vs. Europe event.
O'Grady cautioned potential hosts that expectations must be met for it to remain in continental Europe.
"As long as the conditions are correct and are right for the development of the Ryder Cup and the European Tour. If those conditions are not met, we won't," O'Grady told reporters Sunday from the Volvo Masters.
When asked if it could be held in Dubai, O'Grady said "not in the foreseeable future."


Updated : 2021-10-18 00:52 GMT+08:00