The passing of Seve Ballesteros earlier this year was one of 2011's indisputable tragedies; Seve was an outstanding ambassador for the game and embodied everything you could want in a pro. And in a bit of life-goes-on, tomorrow's-another-day happiness, Ballesteros' son Javier has announced he'll make his European Tour debut next year in the Majorca Open.
Ballesteros, age 21, is currently enrolled in law school, but will take a break in May to play in the tournament. He's a one-handicapper, and as you can see at right, he bears more than a passing resemblance to his father.
European Tour legends from Jose Maria Olazabal to Luke Donald met the news of Ballesteros' debut with warmth and encouragement. "He is so like his father," said Donald, who played with Javier Ballesteros in the Madrid Masters recently. "I guess the genes have been passed down."
In his own European Tour debut, the Spanish Open in April 1974, Ballesteros missed the cut. But he'd go on to win 50 European Tour titles, as well as five majors. No pressure there, Javier.
The younger Ballesteros will surely receive more warmth and encouragement than virtually any player on the course. And he's said that he will give the pro game a shot once he finishes his legal studies. Good luck, kid.