Seve Ballesteros said he had made good progress in his recovery from surgery to remove a brain tumor at the end of last year, but still faced the biggest battle of his life to get well.
In an interview with sports newspaper Marca, the Spanish five-time major winner spoke about the “tremendous shock” of his collapse at Madrid airport in October and the four operations he underwent before his discharge in December.
“I have recovered a lot, but I know it is a very long process,” the 51-year-old said, looking frail but in good spirits in photographs taken at his home in northern Spain and published with the interview.
“It is the longest par-72 in the world, this is the truth,” he said. “This has to be admitted and faced.”
Ballesteros, who has won 87 career titles including three British Opens and two US Masters, said he had been given a second chance at life.
“If I think about it objectively, I have been lucky,” he said. “The proof is that I am alive and that I can do many things, that I can talk, that I can think perfectly.”
He said he had found the post-operative treatment “incredibly hard” at times and had had some low moments.
“They warned me about it at hospital, that I would go through some emotional moments and that I would have some low times and some of them have appeared already,” he said.
“When you wake up in the morning, you do not want to get out of bed and you say: ‘Where do I go?’ But the way I look at it this is the biggest battle of my life, this is the sixth major,” Ballesteros said.