37-years on & Javier Ballesteros repeats his father’s 18th hole Old Course birdie feat

Bernie McGuire

Javier Ballesteros with Martin Slumbers - Photo @tourmiss

Thirty-seven years on and Javier Ballesteros repeated his father Seve’s effort with a birdie at the final hole of the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Javier, 31, had not been born when his father drained a 15-foot left-to-right birdie putt at the 72nd hole to win the 1984 Open Championship at the Home of Golf, Seve’s fourth of five major victories in his career.

And Javier, in his first competitive round at the Home of Golf, duplicated his much-missed late father’s effort landing a wedge shot to just 18-inches for a birdie ‘3’ in a round of a two-over par 74 in the 20th anniversary Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.


Javier said: “It’s always nice to finish a round with a birdie but to also birdie 18 like my father did in 1984 to win The Open was very special of me today.

“Also, I think the pin was in a similar position today as it was back in 1984 so that was extra special. I didn’t drive the ball well today but my short-game was quite good and I felt really good hitting that shot into the green on 18 and, as I said, always happy to finish with a birdie.”

Caddying for Javier was his sister Carmen, with their mother, Carmen also waiting to greet her children following the round. All three were in attendance Wednesday night in St. Andrews for a VIP screening of the R&A movie ‘Seve’ to be released to the public in coming days portraying Seve’s life in previously unseen footage and audio recordings never heard before.

Javier said: “Our family had watched the movie one month ago and I liked it but it was even better yesterday (Wednesday) as the movie was completely finished.

“It is fantastic movie and our family is very happy and for me, it’s extra special for me to play the golf course, and I felt pretty emotional coming down the 18th, and it’s just fantastic to be able to play here.

“I practiced here on Tuesday and stood on the spot on the 18th green where he holed his birdie putt to win The Open and he said many times, it was the happiest moment of his career. So, that’s why it’s been extra special for me to play the course today, and just happy to be here this week with my sister, Carmen and my mother, also.”

Partnering Ballesteros in the pro/amateur event was R and A CEO Martin Slumbers.

He said: “I never tire in my enjoyment in playing the Old Course but to be partnered with Javier Ballesteros was extra special

“It was kind of spooky as at times it looked like it was his father playing out there today. Javier’s a good player, a really good player and while he had some wayward shots, he played some unbelievably good pitch shots as we saw there at the last. And with his sister Carmen on the bag, it was a really special day all round.”

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