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Reaction to the death of Seve Ballesteros

Selected quotes on the death Saturday of golf great Seve Ballesteros:

"It was his creativity, his imagination, and his desire to compete that made him so popular not only in Europe but throughout American galleries, too. He was a great entertainer. No matter the golf that particular day, you always knew you were going to be entertained. Seve's enthusiasm was just unmatched by anybody I think that ever played the game." — Jack Nicklaus.

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"The biggest highlight of his personality was his strength, his fighting spirit and his passion for everything he did. ... The best homage we can pay him is to continue playing, but I don't think any of the homages we make will ever be sufficient enough after everything he's done for golf." — Jose Maria Olazabal.

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"His dynamic talent was evident from the time he first arrived on the scene and I always invited him to play in my tournament at Bay Hill. He was probably the main man, the greatest contributor to the European golf scene and to the Ryder Cup when they brought all of Europe into the matches. He will be sorely missed throughout the world of golf." — Arnold Palmer.

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"America had Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Seve was our Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus rolled into one. You can't speak too highly of him. Seve was Europe's best ever player." — Bernard Gallacher.

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"The thing that really stands out about him is his determination ... and his passion for everything that he did. He never gave up and always looked for (the shot) or way out, and that reflected his personality." — Miguel Angel Jimenez.

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"You always knew when Seve walked in a room even if you had your back to him. He oozed charisma and brought a whole new meaning to aura." — Lee Westwood.

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"I think his body language was the strongest of anybody, maybe save Tiger in recent years. I've always said that his body language said, 'Hey, I may have hit a really crappy shot right there, but if you miss this next one, you'll miss the greatest shot ever hit.' That's just the way he walked, the way he acted, the way he carried himself. He never seemed to ever doubt his ability." — Tom Lehman.

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"Seve was one of the most talented and exciting golfers to ever play the game. His creativity and inventiveness on the golf course may never be surpassed. His death came much too soon." — Tiger Woods.

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"This is such a very sad day for all who love golf. Seve's unique legacy must be the inspiration he has given to so many to watch, support, and play golf, and finally to fight a cruel illness with equal flair, passion, and fierce determination. We have all been so blessed to live in his era. He was the inspiration behind the European Tour." — George O'Grady, chief executive of the European Tour.

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"He was the backbone of the European Tour for so long. Seve was their Arnold Palmer." — Curtis Strange.

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"There were very few players who you could simply call by a name. He was one of those guys. He was a name all around the world. His skills were maybe unmatched by anybody." — Hale Irwin.

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"He was the original get-out-of-jail artist." — Mark McNulty.

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"Seve wore his emotions on his sleeve. You could see how much the guy cared about winning." — Johnny Miller.

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"We are looking at a top artist, the king of European golf, if you like, for many years. He brought excitement into the European game as Arnold Palmer did into the American game. Everybody drew another breath when he played. It was like watching a masterpiece." — Howard Clark.

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"Severiano Ballesteros was a unique, unrepeatable person. We have to recognize we are where we are now, that golf is a popular sport ... in large part to Severiano Ballesteros. We all owe him a lot." — Spanish golf federation President Gonzaga Escauriaza.

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"Seve Ballesteros was a man of incredible skill, charisma and courage as a sportsman, and the dignified way that he fought against the disease was characteristic of the man and was an inspiration to us all. He was a 'once in a generation athlete' in his sport, and his influence on the game will live long after him." — Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee.

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"Spectators around the world enjoyed watching Seve, but talking to a lot of the players, he made such an impression on them the way he played, and the way he was such a beautiful, natural talent. His hands on the club. His address position. He had an unbelievable way of telegraphing through his countenance what he was going to do with the ball. It was just like an artist." — Ben Crenshaw.

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"For golf, he was the greatest show on earth." — Nick Faldo.

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"He never backed down from a challenge. The world of golf has lost one of its greatest heroes." — Ernie Els.

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"I went to my very first pro tournament because of Seve. He played in Germany and my dad was a big fan. I remember seeing him for the first time, and the aura and charisma. ... I thought to myself, 'This is not natural.'" — Martin Kaymer.

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"Because of the way he played the game, you were drawn to him." — Phil Mickelson.