Ballesteros family accuses European Tour of showing 'disrespect'

Fri Jan 3, 2014 5:46am EST
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(Reuters) - The family of Seve Ballesteros has accused the European Tour of showing 'disrespect' to the deceased major winner amid an intensifying row about a duplicate matchplay event against Asia.

The European Tour will host the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Malaysia in March, a team matchplay event between Asia and Europe, having opted against returning to sanction the Royal Trophy, an eight-year-old tournament also played between the two continents.

The Royal Trophy, launched by Ballesteros along with the Japan and China Tours and first played in 2006, was sanctioned by the European Tour for two years before they dumped it and announced the new tournament with the Asian Tour last year.

At the unveiling of Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee as the captains for the inaugural event last month, European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said the EurAsia Cup had the support of the Seve Ballesteros family and foundation.

"I am certain that Seve would have found this new proposal to be in very bad taste and very disrespectful," Vicente Ballesteros, brother and one-time caddie of the five-times major winner, said in a statement sent by the Royal Trophy on Friday.

"Mr O'Grady has also said that this new proposed event is supported by the Ballesteros family. Whenever anyone talks in public about any family, that person must be very careful.

"I wonder what he means. My brother Baldomero and I do not support this new proposed event at all. In fact we find this attempt disrespectful and I personally find incredible that anyone takes the liberty to talk on Seve's behalf.

"We support the Royal Trophy and find this new proposed event to be misleading and very bad. I never imagined some people could go so far."

European Tour officials were not immediately available for comments when contacted by Reuters on Friday.   Continued...

Spain's former golf player Severiano Ballesteros laughs during a news conference in Madrid October 29, 2010 in this file photo. REUTERS/Andrea Comas