VIRGINIA WATER, England -- Severiano Ballesteros equaled Gary Player's record of five World Match Play titles with a 10-birdie, no-bogey performance yesterday that gave him a 3-and-2 victory over Zimbabwe's Nick Price.
"This has to be the best final of all five," the Spaniard said after collecting the biggest check of the European tour golf, $255,000.
Ballesteros' previous four Match Play triumphs were in 1981, '82, '84 and '85. Player won in 1965, '66, '68, '71 and '73.
Battling the flu, a bad back and a painful foot, Ballesteros rallied from three down after four holes against Price. It was his 49th triumph in Europe, his 64th overall and his eighth at Wentworth.
"I think it is a miracle the way I was feeling," he said. "But I know this course as well as my own in Santander. I know where to go and all the breaks on the greens."
Price, who beat England's Steven Richardson, Australia's British Open titlist Ian Baker-Finch and two-time Masters champion Nick Faldo on the way to the final, was impressed by Ballesteros' form.
"It was vintage Seve," he said. "His putter has given him so much confidence and he didn't give me an opportunity."
In the third-place match, Faldo beat American Billy Andrade, 5 and 3.
Severiano Ballesteros, Spain, def. Nick Price, Zimbabwe, 3 and 2.
Nick Faldo, England, def. Bill Andrade, United States, 5 and 3.