Son of Seve impresses in Barcelona
Javier Ballesteros boosted aspirations of eventually making a successful transition to the professional ranks by finishing 14th in the Alps Tour's Peugeot Alps de Barcelona.
Ballesteros, who played in the event as an amateur, had been looking to make his professional tournament debut in the Majorca Open on the European Open.
However the lack of financial backing meant the cancellation of the event some weeks ago.
But then Ballesteros remained ever keen to test himself against the pros and was afforded an invitation to compete in Barcelona, and on the same Golf Sant Cugat Catalunya golf course where his illustrious father had made his professional debut in 1974.
And the young Ballesteros, who is the spitting image of his five-time Major winning father, didn't disgrace by posting an opening 65 before finishing fourth behind fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, a double winner on the European Tour.
The French Open and BMW International Open winning Larrazabal posted a last day 65 to win by four shots.
And Larrazbal, who returns to the European Tour at this week's Spanish Open in Seville, paid homage to Barclona FC's Pep Guardiola who is quitting at the end of this season as the teams coach by wearing with a claret and blue striped shirt.
Ballesteros, who plays off a handicap of 0.0, ended with a final round 68 to move up from 31st to 14th on four under.
“I played my most solid golf today but just neeeded to hole a few more putts,” said Ballesteros.
“I had three bogeys and they were all three-putts but I hit the ball solidly, made five birdies and left a few shots out there.
“I’m leaving here happy with my performance because I played a tournament at El Prat last week, didn’t hit the ball well but felt okay about my game.
“I’ll take a lot of confidence from this tournament. I like playing with professionals because when I play with them, I play better, I’m more motivated and that helps me to improve.”
1. Pablo Larrazábal 194 (64+65+65) (-16) .
2. Ivó Giner 198 (62+69+67) .
3. Gary Stal (FRA) 199 (67+68+64) .
4. Álvaro Salto 200 (67+66+67) .
5. Antonio Hortal 201 (68+67+66) .
14. Javier Ballesteros (am) 206 (65+73+68).Written by Bernie McGuire
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