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'Seve would have been proud'

NOT even the family of Seve Ballesteros could have imagined a Ryder Cup finish quite like this. It was after midnight in Spain when a European team inspired by the "spirit of Seve", and captained by his close friend Jose Maria Olazabal, completed their improbable comeback.

"IF he was looking down he would certainly be very proud of everything that happened and the way it happened," said Seve Ballesteros's son, Javier.

Captain Jose Maria Olazabal, whose team bags bore a silhouette of Ballesteros, was in tears as he remembered his great friend, who lost his battle with cancer last year, and Javier said: "It felt like my dad was helping a little bit from somewhere.

"Graeme McDowell said that if my dad could have written a script for the Ryder Cup he would have written it just as it happened - with a big comeback from Europe.

"I was really emotional when Europe won. When I saw some of the players talking about the inspiration my dad gave them - it was simply great.

"Also, when Jose Maria spoke about my father and began to cry, I became very emotional. What the players did on Sunday was absolutely incredible."

Javier's words were echoed by Ivan Ballesteros, Seve's nephew and vice president of the Madrid-based Seve Ballesteros foundation.

"What happened went beyond sports," Ivan said.

"We want to thank Jose Maria for remembering Seve not just throughout the week but for always keeping his memory alive."