By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.com Correspondent
BEACH, Fla. -- It's a grass roots effort that's getting a lot of
buzz. Twitter's all a-tweet with the idea of changing the image on
the European Tour logo to that of the late Seve Ballesteros
fist-pumping at the 1984 British Open. The current logo image is
Harry Vardon, which is nice, but . . . Seve . . . . "It's iconic,''
three-time major champ Padraig Harrington said. "Seve IS the
European Tour. It's not belittling the guys who put a lot of work
into the tour behind the scenes. But Seve is iconic. He's the
emotional heart of the European Tour. "He drove the European Tour.
He inspired the players who came up in the '80s. He inspired the
players playing now." Paul Lawrie, Sir Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and
Colin Montgomerie are among those players not here who have been
campaigning to have Seve's image and a number of players
have been tweeting about using the image of him pumping his
first after holing the winning putt at St. Andrews in 1984.
Absolutely, said Australian Adam Scott, who played the European
Tour for several years before joining the PGA TOUR. "It's a
fantastic tribute. I'm not out of place saying that he built the
European Tour into what it is today.'' Added Englishman Luke
Donald, who, like Harrington, plays both tours, "I think it's
very fitting. He did a lot to put the European Tour on the map.''
Ballesteros, who was memorialized at a service in his hometown of
Pedrena Wednesday, was one of only two European players in
the field at the 1980 Masters, which he won. Sandy Lyle was the
other. Ballesteros opened the door for European players to compete,
not just in the Masters, but in PGA TOUR events in the early 1980s.
"He put Europe on the map going traveling around the world,"
Woosnam, a fellow Masters champ, told Associated Press. "The Ryder
Cup is one of the biggest events in the world and that's thanks to
Seve." Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champ, has been one of the
most vocal advocates of the change. "There is quite a few players
who believe that it should have been a logo featuring Seve in the
first place," he told Setanta Sports. "Of course, it's not for me
to tell the Tour what to do. The current logo is a nice logo and
it's been very well done. But everyone knows and agrees that
it was Seve was the player that really started it all for the
European Tour. He was the difference. "We shouldn't be changing the
logo just because he's gone but that's always been the case so
maybe it could have been a Seve logo from the word 'go'." European
Tour chief executive George O'Grady told Associated Press, "We
will look at it nice and calmly, and if we do consider any single
player's image at the moment it would be Seve's.''