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Olazabal says grand slam not possible

Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal believes it is impossible for one player to win all four of golf's major tournaments in one calendar year.

"Truly and honestly, I don't believe anyone will accomplish the Grand Slam," said Olazabal, after a hero's welcome at the El Prat course on the eve of the Spanish Open on Wednesday.

He discounts his own chances of becoming the first to win the coveted Slam - the 33-year-old will not turn his attention to the U.S. Open until the week before the event in June.

"My chances of winning the U.S. Open are so slim I prefer not to even think about them.

"I'll start thinking about the U.S. Open the week before it. I'll leave it to the young players to win the Grand Slams now."

Olazabal admitted the pressures from winning at Augusta 10 days ago have restricted his own chances of winning his country's Open championship for the first time.

"With everyone wanting a piece of me, I've had no chance to practise properly and no real chance to plan anything, so that might hold me back this week," he said.

The closest the Masters champion has come to winning the Spanish Open was last year when he tied for second place behind Dane Thomas Bjorn.

Bjorn, as defending champion, misses this year's event. A recurring neck injury forced him to pull out on Tuesday.

Spain's Severiano Ballesteros missed Wednesday's pro-am because of a sore knee.

Asked about the career prospects of compatriot Sergio Garcia who turned professional this week, Olazabal urged restraint on building up the 19-year-old's chances.

"He deserves all the acclaim but I plead with the press to leave the kid alone to make his own progress.

"We all know he has the potential but just let him be himself, and don't put the pressure on him."

 

TRW