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Luke Donald has revealed that talks between the DP World Tour and the Ballesteros family are ongoing over involving them in the new Hero Cup.
The announcement of the GB&I v Continental Europe Hero Cup was met with a statement from Seve Ballesteros’ son Javier on behalf of the family in which he called the new event “an exact copy of the Seve Trophy”. The statement went on to reveal that while the DP World Tour had asked the family to be involved in some way, they had said “No”, adding that they wanted the Seve Trophy back, not a copy. However, Europe’s Ryder Cup captain says those talks are still taking place and there is hope the Ballesteros family will be involved.
Ahead of this week’s Italian Open, which takes place at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, host of next year’s Ryder Cup, Donald said: “The Hero Cup is an exciting new team event that is based on the Seve Trophy and EurAsia Cup. It's my understanding the European Tour have been in touch with the Ballesteros family and those conversations have been ongoing, and we want to include them as much as possible in that event.”
The DP World Tour confirmed talks continue. Last week, Guy Kinnings, DP World Tour Deputy CEO said: "I was personally in touch with the Ballesteros family before the announcement to brief them and we intend to discuss further with them. We honour Seve’s legacy in many ways.
“His name adorns one of our main meeting rooms at our Wentworth HQ, we changed the name of our Players’ Player Award to the Seve Ballesteros Award in 2017 and I remember in the 2018 Ryder Cup in France where the last thing our players saw before they left the locker room to go on the course was Seve’s Ryder Cup bag with the phrase written above it; ‘This is why you are here.’ We respect Seve's legacy every single day and we will continue to do so."
The Seve Trophy, a biennial match played in the alternate year to the Ryder Cup, was last held in 2013. In the eight editions from 2000-2013, GB&I held a 6-2 advantage against Europe. Seve Ballesteros captained the European side in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007, and was one of the main instigators in setting up the match. The five-time Major winner passed away at the age of 54 in 2011 due to brain cancer.
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Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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