Lawrie backs idea to change European Tour logo to honour Seve

MAJORCA, Spain Tue May 10, 2011 10:13am BST

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MAJORCA, Spain (Reuters) - Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie is one of a number of players in favour of the European Tour changing their recently adopted logo to honour Spanish great Seve Ballesteros.

The Tour paid for a new logo featuring six-times British Open champion Harry Vardon to coincide with the launch of the Race to Dubai series for the 2009 season.

But Lawrie believes the now famed image of Ballesteros, who died on Saturday after a long battle with brain cancer, on the final green at the 1984 British Open at St. Andrews should have been used instead.

"I absolutely support the idea (of changing it) as it would be a great move," Lawrie told reporters on Tuesday.

"Seve is the reason why we are playing on the European Tour, and everyone would have that opinion, so I fully agree with that."

Tributes have poured in from all over the world for Ballesteros, who was considered one of the sport's greatest players.

The 54-year-old claimed five majors and won a record 50 European Tour titles before retiring because of back problems in 2007.

Those achievements left Lawrie feeling that the original logo should have featured the Spaniard and not Vardon, who won the last of his British Open titles in 1914.

"There is quite a few players who believe that it should have been a logo featuring Seve in the first place," the 1999 British Open champion said.

"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'."

Lawrie's compatriot and fellow European Tour professional, Andy Coltart, who has been busy moving house, used Twitter to back the idea of changing the logo.

"We've already got a Harry Vardon Trophy, so why not a Seve logo instead," the Scot tweeted.

"No disrespect to Harry Vardon, who is obviously... a legend, but today's strength in the European Tour is down to Seve, and he is 21st century.

"I hear that the Seve Trophy may struggle to continue getting a sponsor, so that's another reason," Coltart said of the annual Britain and Ireland v Continental Europe matches.

"We need to make sure we have some kind of recognition of Seve's legendary status."

However, former Spanish Open winner Peter Lawrie believed the timing of a possible change was not appropriate.

"The Tour spent an awful lot of money designing the Vardon logo but... I would look at it as an emotional reaction if they were to change it now," said the Irishman.

"The thing is if you look at the history of the Tour, it didn't start with Seve, and while it would be nice to honour his memory by changing the logo, I'm not in favour of a change just yet."

(Edited by Patrick Johnston)

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