Poult from the blue

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EVERYONE has their own special memories about Seve Ballesteros.

And among them is keen golfer Malcolm Crane, who wrote the official history of Knott End Golf Club.

He recalls the Spaniard’s unorthodox preparation for his bid to win the famous Claret Jug in 1988.

Ballesteros, who has died, aged 54, won two of his three Open Championships at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 1979 and 1988.

Crane recalled: “When Seve won the Open at Royal Lytham in 1988, he was the most famous player in the world – everywhere he went he was over-run with fans.

“On the Monday before, he asked his entourage to find a local course where he could get a bit of peace and quiet.

“They found Poulton-le-Fylde, and persuaded the owner to let Seve have the course for two hours from 7am on the Tuesday morning.

“Seve and his gang arrived at the nine-hole course at 6.30am and played in total isolation.

“Presumably there are still people about who might have witnessed his visit. I know it happened because it was the talk of the Open for the day.”

Crane added: “Can any two courses in the UK differ as much in design as Royal Lytham and Poulton?

“It worked, as Seve won!”

n ROYAL Lytham paid their own tribute to the charismatic Spaniard.

Secretary Graham Cochrane said: “Seve Ballesteros was the man who transformed professional tournament golf in Europe, and made it the multi-million pound business that it is today.

“He had such a great feel and sensitivity for playing the game that it is unlikely that anyone will play the game the way Seve did.

“He was the outstanding player of his era, and the members of Royal Lytham & St Annes are proud to have played a small part in his career.”

Ballesteros’ funeral was taking place today.