Thirty-five years ago today Seve Ballesteros won on the PGA Tour for just the third time. A year later he would be suspended by the same tour
Seve Ballesteros won four regular tournaments on the PGA Tour and the USF&G Classic was the third of them.
The Spaniard, the reigning Open champion after his heroics at St Andrews the previous year, shot a closing four-under 68 in Louisiana.
The event was reduced to 54 holes because of the weather and Ballesteros picked up $72,000. A few weeks later the 27-year-old would come up two shots short behind Bernhard Langer at Augusta.
Ballesteros and Mahaffey were tied with two holes to play but the American would double the last to drop into a tie with Peter Jacobsen while the Spaniard, who only joined the tour at the end of 1983, would finish birdie-bogey to finish two clear.
- Related: Would you rather have Ballesteros or Garcia on your team?
- Related: Paramor: My run-ins with Ballesteros
“It’s really kind of sad to win with a bogey in the last hole, when I bogeyed it I was looking for a play-off.”
As for Mahaffey he got a bit over-ambitious at the last with his tee shot which ended up in the trees.
“I just made one bad swing and it cost me the tournament. We gave it our best shot and it came up short.”
For reference Jacobsen became the 49th millionaire on the PGA Tour with his second-place earnings of $35,200.
Come the following season Ballesteros was given a one-year ban on the PGA Tour for not fulfilling his playing requirements of 15 events. Away from the three majors the USF&G Classic was the only other tournament he played in the United States.
“[Commissioner] Deane Beman only cares about the US tour. A man who loves this game should care about an international tour. There will never be an international tour as long as Beman keeps his position. Beman is a little man who wants to be big. Let’s forget about him.”