Mar 19th, 2016
Breaking News: Olazabal to miss the Masters
Spanish Champ down with athritis
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: Getty Images
Jose Maria Olazabal has announced he won't be taking part in this year's Masters. The two-time Masters champion is believed to be suffering from a form of rheumatoid arthritis.
Ollie, who bagged green jackets at Augusta National in 1994 and 1999, has had a shockingly frustrating time of it in recent years and hasn’t played a tournament round since the second round of the 2015 Masters.
Watch this! Ollie's incredible eagle at 15 in 1994 - great (Chinese?) commentary!...
“I am sorry to announce that I’m unable to attend this year as I’m not feeling well,” said Europe's Ryder Cup Captain at the Miracle Of Medinah. “Obviously the Masters is very special to me and walking up Magnolia Lane gives me a peace of mind like nowhere else."
What, not even the 16th at the Phoenix?
“I have wonderful memories since my first time at Augusta in 1985 as an amateur, not just of the two wins but from the great experiences that make it a unique event.
“I have lovely memories of all the practice rounds with Seve (Ballesteros), the ‘Mechanic (Miguel Angel Jimenez) and the other Spaniards,” he continued. “But there are two special memories with Gary Player and Tiger Woods that have left their mark on me and I will never forget.
Medinah Memories with Ollie
“At Tuesday’s champions dinner in 1999, Gary asked me how I felt and I answered, ‘my game is so-so.’ Looking straight into my eyes, he said, ‘you must believe in yourself.’ With his arms open wide he said, ‘Look how old I am but I feel like a rock. You must believe in your game and the rest will come.’ On Sunday I won my second green jacket.
"In 2002 I played the third round paired with Tiger. On the 18th I told him, ‘It’s been a pleasure playing with you, what an exhibition.’ He thanked me. He played to perfection and won the tournament. I know it was also a very special moment for him, as he has declared on several occasions."
Come on Ollie, give us a glimmer of hope?
“I’m feeling better,” he said. “I have regular tests and they show improvement, which is a good sign. But the main thing is to get rid of pain. It’s a slow process and I have to be patient.”
The Masters and us here at GP will miss you this year, amigo. Get well post haste!!