Ballesteros stable after undergoing surgery for brain tumor

10/15/2008 - Golf Seve Ballesteros

MADRID, Spain -- Seve Ballesteros had surgery to remove a brain tumor and the golfing great was "conscious and stable" Wednesday, a day after the operation.

Spanish state news agency Efe reported the surgery lasted 12 hours.

A hospital spokeswoman said a sizable part of the tumor was removed. It was not immediately known if the entire growth had been taken out.

"The operation, with the objective of a resection of the
detected brain tumor, started at 9 a.m. and concluded without
complications," a statement from Madrid's La Paz hospital said.

A resection refers to a procedure to remove as much of a
brain tumor as possible before radiation or chemotherapy.

The La Paz hospital spokeswoman said it would be several days before the results were known.

"At the moment he is conscious and stable, although he will not be able to receive any visitors in the coming days until he has recovered from the surgical process," the hospital said Wednesday in a statement.

The hospital said Ballesteros had been moved to a post-operation room in the intensive care unit. It said there would be no further statements about the golfer until he changes wards, most likely next week.

The 51-year-old Ballesteros, winner of three British Opens and two Masters, briefly lost consciousness and was admitted Oct. 6 to a hospital, where the tumor was discovered.

On Monday, Ballesteros issued a statement acknowledging he had a tumor and saying he faced "the hardest challenge of my life."

Ballesteros, who won a record 50 tournaments on the European Tour, retired last year due to a long history of back pain. He has since focused mostly on golf-course design.

When he won the British Open in 1979, he was the youngest player to do so in the 20th century. He won the title again in
1984 and 1988.

Many credit the gifted and charismatic Ballesteros for transforming the European game.

When the Ryder Cup was expanded to include continental Europe in 1979, Ballesteros helped the Europeans beat the United States in 1985 to begin two decades of dominance. He also captained Europe to victory in 1997 at Valderrama, Spain.

Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain are the most formidable partnership in Ryder Cup history, with 11 wins, two losses and two halves.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.