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Javier Ballesteros takes first steps to emulating legendary dad Seve

updated 5:11 AM EDT, Fri April 27, 2012
Javier Ballesteros competed in his first professional tournament Thursday, at the Sant Cugat course in Catalunya
Javier Ballesteros competed in his first professional tournament Thursday, at the Sant Cugat course in Catalunya
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Seve Ballesteros' son Javier competes in first professional golf tournament
  • The 21-year-old's first pro start comes at same course his late father made his debut
  • Seve is one of the most famous names in golf winning five majors during a glittering career
  • Javier to decide whether to become a full time pro after completing law studies at college

(CNN) -- He has a long way to go to emulate the success of his father, who won five majors and thrilled the world of golf, but Javier Ballesteros is off to a promising start.

The 21-year-old made his debut on the professional golf circuit Thursday, 38 years after Severiano began his pro career on exactly the same course.

After starting at the Sant Cugat course in Catalunya, Spain, Seve went on to win three British Opens and two Masters titles and etch his name into the record books as one of the most entertaining and flamboyant players ever to pick up a club.

Seve died in May last year, at the age of 54, provoking an outpouring of grief from the world of golf. Many stars of the game attended his funeral in his home village of Pedrena.

Remembering Seve Ballesteros

Javier insists he doesn't feel any weight of pressure being the son of one of golf's most revered characters, but he offered a glimpse of his talent as he shot a five-under-par round to sit three shots off the lead after day one of the Peugeot Alps de Barcelona.

"My goal for this competition is enjoy it," he said on the European Tour's official website. "I don't set goals when I play a tournament, especially being an amateur.

"What I have to do is enjoy and learn. I have no extra pressure being Seve's son, I don't really have anything to prove. I'm just going to be myself.

I have no extra pressure being Seve's son, I don't really have anything to prove. I'm just going to be myself
Javier Ballesteros

"When I registered for the Peugeot Tour event at Sant Cugat I didn't know that my father played his first professional tournament here and now that I know, it's double the excitement for me."

Seve won 91 tournaments in a 33-year career and was a crucial part of Europe's Ryder Cup team during much of the 1980s and 1990s, forming a formidable partnership with fellow Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal.

Javier clearly has inherited a wealth of talent from Seve but says he is yet to decide if he will follow his father's footsteps and become a golf professional once he has finished studying law in Madrid.

"I have always played golf," he added. "I was on the national team when I was 14 to 16 years old, and being surrounded by golf at home always made me think about being a pro in the future.

"But I have to finish university first. It is something my parents have always told me to do, especially my father, and that is my priority. Then we will see.

"I have not made a schedule or set a time. It's not just a case of turning professional as soon as I finish college. We will just see what happens."

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