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Golf News: - Posted 24th September 1998

Olazabal shaves his head to celebrate return to fitness


Cologne, Germany - José Maria Olazábal was as good as his word when he turned up for this week's Linde German Masters in Cologne -- sporting a shaven head.

The 32-year-old Spaniard kept a promise he made to his manager Sergio Gomez two years ago when he was stricken so badly with foot problems he thought he would never walk properly again -- let alone play golf at world-class level.

They were in Munich to see Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, well known for his unorthodox treatment of sports injuries and who eventually helped cure Olazábal.

"Ollie was so down he was unconvinced the doctor would do him any good," explained Gomez. "Then we spotted two skinheads walking ahead and he told me: 'On my oath, I promise I'll have my hair shaved just like that if this guy gets me playing again.'"

"Two years later and he's nearly fully fit. So this week he came to me straight from the hairdresser and took off his cap to show he'd kept his promise."

Olazábal, the 1994 U.S. Masters champion, ended an 18-month layoff when he returned to the European Tour for the 1997 Desert Classic in Dubai.