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经济学人:欧洲高尔夫球王

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Obituary;Seve Ballesteros;

讣告;塞弗·巴耶斯特罗斯;

Severiano Ballesteros, Europe's greatest golfer, died on May 7th, aged 54.

欧洲高尔夫名将Severiano Ballesteros,5月7日辞世,享年54岁。

As he struck the ball, Seve Ballesteros feared he had overdone it. After a good 3-wood tee shot and a decent sand-wedge to the 18th green at St Andrews in 1984, the ball was only 15 feet below the hole. Now, in his sheer eagerness to win, he had hit it too hard. But no. The ball rolled sweetly towards the hole, improbably curving round, hovered on the edge of the cup, then tumbled in. It seemed to go in slow motion as he willed it and willed it forward. And with that he had won the Open.

当把球推出时,塞弗·巴耶斯特罗斯还在担心自己用力过大。1984年圣安德鲁斯赛第十八洞果岭,在挥动一支3号木杆漂亮开球和沙坑杆后,球距洞口仅15英呎之遥。由于求胜心切,他似乎用力过猛。但是球慢慢滚向球洞,令人难以置信地绕着弯,在洞口停了一下,然后滚了进去。小白球好像是随着巴耶斯特罗斯的意愿慢慢...慢慢滚进去的。就这样,他赢了比赛。

His joy then, as he punched the air, raised his arms to the crowd, laughed and almost danced, was perhaps the most ecstatic moment ever seen in golf. Later he made that image his logo. Bags, shirts, caps and putter-covers proclaimed him to be the best. And for more than a decade, from 1979 to 1991, he was. He won three British Open championships and two Masters, and over his whole career bore off 87 titles. He was in the European Ryder Cup team that in 1985 overturned 28 years of American domination, and later led a team to Ryder victory himself.

巴耶斯特罗斯在空中挥舞拳头,向观众高举双臂,大笑雀跃——也许这是高尔夫赛史上最狂喜的瞬间了。后来,他把自己此时的形象用作商标。背包、T恤、帽子和推杆套上的商标都宣扬着他是最棒的高尔夫球手。而从1979到1991年的十多年中,他确实是最棒的。英国公开赛中他曾三次勇夺桂冠,大师赛上他也两次夺冠,在整个比赛生涯中他包揽了87项赛事冠军。1985年莱德杯欧洲队一举打破了美国队28年来一统天下的局面,那时,巴耶斯特罗斯也在队中。后来,他又亲自率领欧洲队勇夺莱德杯冠军。

It was also beautifully done, inspiring a whole generation of European golfers. He had strength for the long game, finesse and subtlety for the short game, but also a daring that bordered on recklessness. Pure passion made him drive his tee shots into car parks, gorse and bunkers, but this was a man who could pitch a ball over an eight-foot wall, or hook a 5-iron shot round a tree, or chip-and-run through a tiny gap between two yawning bunkers, and sink the putt for an improbable birdie. He was always in trouble, yet he never was.

巴耶斯特罗斯打得如此漂亮,他鼓舞了整整一代欧洲高尔夫球选手。他有着长距离球所需的力量,短距离球所需的技巧和敏锐,但是他太大胆,几近鲁莽。全凭感情行事的他有时会把球打到停车场、荆豆灌木丛和沙坑障碍中区。但同时他又能把球打过八英尺的高墙或者用5号铁杆击出可以绕过树的曲线球,或者是一个切滚球把球打过两个沙坑之间窄窄的间隔,再就是推进杆打出一个几乎不可能的小鸟。他似乎总是有麻烦,但又从来没有过任何麻烦。

Luck, said some. Miraculous, said others, as they sighed at his soft blasts out of bunkers on to the green, or the fluid grace of his swing. Commentators talked of natural genius, as though he was still a seven-year-old whacking a pebble with a home-made club on a beach in Cantabria. His impoverished family put it down to destino. Such talk annoyed him. It was all hard graft and iron discipline: hitting a ball, alone, for hours. It started in boyhood, putting into tomato cans on a bumpy two-hole piece of field on his parents' farm, or driving into a fishing net hung in the barn. He reckoned he had hit 1,000 balls a day. Because he had only one club, a 3-iron, he learned how to do everything with it: low, powerful shots, high, soft-landing shots and impossible recovery shots out of long, tangled grass. He could improvise his way out of anything.

有人说他全凭运气。还有一些人,看着他把球从沙坑到果岭和他流畅优雅的挥杆,叹口气然后说不可思议。解说员评论他时总是说“天赋”,好像他还是那个在坎塔布里亚沙滩上用自制球棒玩卵石的七岁小孩。他家境贫寒,家里人说命该如此。这种话惹恼了他。自己一个人练习击球,一练就几个小时——他成功是全凭自己刻苦努力和坚强毅力。当还是小孩时,他就开始用番茄酱罐在一块有两个洞的坑坑洼洼的地上练习,或者是把球打进挂在谷仓墙上的渔网里。他估计那时自己每天要打1000个球。因为只有一支三号铁杆,他不得不用这支球杆学会所有动作:強力的低飞球,软着陆的高球,以及从长草区难以置信的就出險球脫困。

Admirers asked where the passion came from. He found it hard to explain. The joy of impact, finding the sweet spot on the club-face and feeling the ball obey, visualizing the perfect shot and sensing that he could achieve it, was a large part of it. But pride fired him more. Man and boy, he was consumed by the need to prove himself. First against his three brothers, who also became professional golfers; against the old guard at the Royal Golf Club at Pedrea, who treated him like dirt when he caddied there; against the Americans, whose players, he assumed, had been formally instructed on world-class courses, and who thought the Masters and the Ryder Cup belonged to them; against anyone who thought he was inferior, or tried to control him with senseless regulations. Though the European Tour owed so much to him, he fell out badly with its officials in the 1980s—even being left out of the 1981 Ryder Cup team, when he was ranked number one in both Europe and the world.

球迷问他激情从何而来。他觉得这个问题很难说清。很大一部分激情来自自己控制球的喜悦——来自在杆面上找到最佳击球点并感觉球顺着自己的愿望走,来自目估出最佳击球方式并指导自己能做到。但让他满怀激情的更多的是自尊。从小到大,他都感觉需要向他人证明自己:先是向他三个同样成为职业高尔夫选手的兄弟;再是向皇家佩德尼亚高尔夫俱乐部的老警卫——他在那里当球童时警卫从没把他当回事;然后向美国队——他觉得美国队选手受的是世界级球场的正式训练,而且他们把大师赛和莱德杯冠军看做是他们理所应得的;还有向那些看不起他,向用毫无道理的规定控制他的人。虽然欧洲巡回赛让他声名大增,80年代那几年他还是和大赛官员大吵不断。结果,1981年莱德杯欧洲队他被排除在外。而那时候,不管是在欧洲还是全世界,他都堪称第一。

Rising, falling

起起落落

He started every game to win it, and sometimes wept when he failed. About three weeks before each big tournament he would enter a bubble of concentration that muffled even the crowd's applause. He was aware only of his body, the club, the ball, and the winning interaction between them. Hence the expression, serious even to mournful, that shadowed his film-star-handsome face on the course. But he was not above a little psychological warfare—the odd cough, the innocent remark—to put his rivals off their stroke. And as he politely shook their hands, he would be thinking: “I am going to bury you.”

每场比赛他都抱着必胜的心态开始,有时候输了甚至会默默流泪。从每场重大赛事前大概三个星期开始,他会进入一个极其专注的自我世界中去,此时观众甚至都不敢大声鼓掌。他脑中只有自己的身体、球杆、球,以及怎样让这三者配合来赢得比赛。所以,他表情严肃,甚至略带悲伤,这让球场上他那张原本影星般英俊的脸不那么英俊了。不过他深谙于赛场心理战——怎样用怪声怪调的咳嗽、毫无恶意的话语来让对手犹豫迟疑。当他礼貌地和对手握手时,他心里想的是:我会让你死得很惨。

He had made his name on the professional golfing scene at 19, still a gawky lad continually hitching up his trousers, throwing away a lead with sublime impatience at Royal Birkdale in 1976. He left the scene early, too. At Augusta in 1986, when he lost the Masters with a clumsy 4-iron shot into water at the 15th, he felt his touch was fading. Increasingly through the 1990s he missed the cut for tournaments and slid down the rankings of players. Back pain crippled him. His marriage broke up, leaving him alone in the huge new house he had built at Pedrea with display cases full of silver cups and an 18-hole course in the garden, and in 2008 he was diagnosed with the brain cancer that killed him.

早在19岁,巴耶斯德罗斯就在一场职业高尔夫球赛中一举成名。那是1976年皇家伯克戴尔赛,还是个笨手笨脚的毛头小伙子的他,时不时提提自己的裤子,毫无耐心让他失去领先优势。1986年美国奥古斯塔大师赛,第十五洞时他用四号铁杆一个极烂的开球把球打入水障,因而痛失冠军,那时候那感觉自己的技术一日不如一日了。90年代,他渐渐在各种赛事中失去优势,排名也逐渐下滑。背痛让他几乎残疾。婚姻破裂后,他自己孤单一人生活在佩德尼亚的豪宅中,家里橱窗中摆满了银质奖杯,花园里是18洞的高尔夫球场。2008年他被诊断为患有脑癌,并最终因此去世。

Golf, he often said, was a mysterious thing. Despite all his practice, some days he played well and others badly. A good swing would come, then disappear. On that fantastic day at St Andrews in 1984 he had “dressed for the kill” at the 15th, pulling on his dark-blue Slazenger sweater in which he had won at Lytham five years earlier as if it was a matador's suit of lights. On other occasions he watched ruefully as the shot, like the bull, avoided the target. The ball rose, travelled and fell; you were born, you did your best, you died. The arc of golf was perhaps no more biddable than the sad trajectory of his life.

他说,高尔夫是一种很神秘的运动。虽然他刻苦训练,但表现仍起起落落。漂亮的挥杆说来就来,说走就走。1984年圣安德鲁斯赛,那个激动人心的日子,第十五洞时他“盛装上阵”,穿上五年前莱瑟姆比赛夺冠时的那件深蓝色斯莱辛格运动衫,好像斗牛士轻装上阵一样。也有时候他看着别人击球不中时满是遗憾。球起,球飞,球落;出生,巅峰,死亡。也许,高尔夫球的弧线并不比他悲哀一生的轨迹更温顺吧!

重点单词   查看全部解释    
fantastic [fæn'tæstik]

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adj. 极好的,难以置信的,奇异的,幻想的

 
mysterious [mis'tiəriəs]

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adj. 神秘的,不可思议的

联想记忆
stroke [strəuk]

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n. 笔画,击打,一笔(画)连续的动作,中风,

联想记忆
finesse [fi'nes]

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n. 精密技巧,灵巧,策略,偷牌 v. 用计谋处理,耍诡

联想记忆
tangled ['tæŋɡld]

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adj. 紊乱的;纠缠的;缠结的;复杂的

 
pebble ['pebl]

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n. 鹅卵石
n. 水晶,水晶透镜

联想记忆
bubble ['bʌbl]

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n. 气泡,泡影
v. 起泡,冒泡

 
discipline ['disiplin]

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n. 训练,纪律,惩罚,学科
vt. 训练,惩

联想记忆
impact ['impækt,im'pækt]

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n. 冲击(力), 冲突,影响(力)
vt.

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recklessness

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n. 鲁莽;轻率;不顾一切,不顾后果

 


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