Seve Ballesteros always had a flair for the dramatic.
Whether it was winning the British Open despite errant tee shots or becoming the youngest Masters champion with some final nine adventures, the Spaniard was anything but dull.
Ballesteros got off to a fast start in search of his second green jacket in 1983. His opening round of 68 put him squarely in the mix.
Rain on Friday washed out the second round and pushed the tournament a day behind schedule. Still, Ballesteros posted scores of 70 and 73 on the weekend and entered Monday’s final round one shot behind co-leaders Craig Stadler and Raymond Floyd.
Ballesteros could not have dreamed of a better start to the final round. He began with a birdie on the first hole, added an eagle on the par-5 second and claimed another birdie at the fourth. He was 4-under for four holes and in control, but Ballesteros rarely won without some drama.
He maintained a comfortable lead until Amen Corner, where he made bogey on the 12th hole. After he snap-hooked his drive into the woods on No. 13, he was able to salvage par by pitching out and reaching the green in regulation.
“I told my caddie after I parred 13 that ‘from here to the last hole we have to play the last holes in par,’ and we did,” Ballesteros said.
That included a chip-in for par on the final hole, though the tournament had been decided by that point. Ballesteros won by four shots over Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw.
Once again, the Spaniard’s style left everyone shaking their heads.
“It was like he was driving a Ferrari and everybody else was in Chevrolets,” Kite said.