MADRID (Reuters) - Javier Ballesteros, eldest son of the late Seve, has turned professional at the age of 24 and will begin his career by attempting to qualify for the third-tier Alps Tour.
Javier’s father is renowned as one of the greatest talents golf has ever produced and his son recognizes that all eyes will be on him when he makes his way on to the paid ranks.
”I have taken the decision of turning professional,“ he said in a news release on Friday. ”This is something I have always wanted.
”Whether I will succeed or not, time will tell, however I do not want to regret not having tried my best and must give it a go. I know it will not be easy and I am aware of the hard work required.
“My father had a long and difficult start in golf, mine is a bit easier, although I have a disadvantage in the sense everyone will always compare us and will expect from me, not what my dad achieved but half of it... which is already a lot.”
Swashbuckling Seve won five majors, played in eight Ryder Cups between 1979-95, captained Europe to Ryder Cup victory in 1997 and stole the hearts of golf fans around the world before he died of brain cancer in 2011.
”I have set myself no goals,“ said Javier. ”I will go step by step and will start at the Alps Tour’s qualifying school. As we say in golf, one shot at a time and live in the present.
”I am very motivated and convinced that I have taken the right decision. I have a lot of self-confidence.
“Today my dad comes specially to my mind. He taught me everything or almost everything I know about golf and I would have loved him to see me turning pro. I am sure he would be very proud and happy,” said Ballesteros junior.
Javier was an amateur when he missed the cut in his debut on the second-tier Challenge Tour in Madrid in April 2013.
He also missed the cut when he represented former champion Seve for the 25th anniversary edition of the Dubai Desert Classic in January this year.
Writing by Tony Jimenez, editing by Toby Davis