Golf: Seve's brother hits back at European Tour claims over new matchplay event

(AFP) - Golf's European Tour has been accused of "manipulating and misrepresenting" the intentions of the late Seve Ballesteros by launching a rival matchplay event to the Royal Trophy between Europe and Asia.

In the latest twist in an increasingly bitter war of words, Vicente Ballesteros said the inauguration of the EurAsia Cup was not what his younger brother and five-time Major champion, Seve, would have wanted.

While the seventh edition of the Seve Ballesteros-inspired Royal Trophy was staged at China's Dragon Lake Golf Club last week, the first EurAsia Cup is primed to tee off in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur from March 27-29, 2014.

This week European Tour chief executive George O'Grady asserted that Seve "would have cherished" the EurAsia Cup and that the new event "carries with it the support of Seve's family and The Seve Ballesteros Foundation".

Previously, the European Tour has quoted Seve's son Javier Ballesteros as supporting the EurAsia Cup.

However, Vicente Ballesteros and Ivan Ballesteros, Seve's nephew and co-managing director of Royal Trophy promoters Entertainment Group Limited, vehemently refuted O'Grady's comments.

In an e-mail interview with AFP, Vicente said: "George O'Grady is saying that Seve would have cherished this new tournament they are trying to create to damage the history and heritage of the Royal Trophy. This is not true.

"Seve was very emotionally attached to the Royal Trophy. I am certain Seve would have found this new proposal to be in bad taste and very disrespectful.

"My brother was a very fair man and he would never support this type of insincere actions. I don't have any personal interest in the Royal Trophy. My only interest is respecting what Seve thought and wished.

"Mr O'Grady has also said that this new proposed event is supported by the Ballesteros family. I wonder what he means. My brother Baldomero and I do not support this new proposed event."

Ivan Ballesteros added: "What Mr O'Grady has said about Seve is completely untrue. Seve would not have cherished this (EurAsia Cup)... I am certain he would have despised it.

"History cannot be rewritten. If the European and Asian Tours think we will allow them to manipulate and misrepresent Seve's intentions in such a distasteful manner, they are very wrong."

The Royal Trophy, originally co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour, is now supported by the Japan Golf Tour, the China Golf Association and the OneAsia Tour.

The EurAsia Cup is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour.

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