About Us Contact Us Advertise Newsletter

Golf news, golf reports, golf headlines, golf updates,golf features

Golf Today > News Archive > 2009 Archive >


Jose Maria Olazabal inducted in to Golf Hall of Fame

Jose Maria Olazabal, in typically humble fashion, chose to laud the skills of countryman Seve Ballesteros when he was inducted to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

The 1994 and 1999 U.S. Masters champion became the second Spaniard after Ballesteros to be inducted and the 129th overall member.

“Obviously I feel excited,” Olazabal told reporters on the eve of the PGA Championship at Wentworth. “I have a lot of respect for all of the people already there.

“I know they have done great things, much greater things than I have. I have to say it’s even more special because Seve is there.

“My relationship with Seve has always been a special one. To follow in his footsteps and be part of that is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Olazabal and Ballesteros formed the most successful Ryder Cup partnership, winning 11, halving two and losing only two of their matches together.

Ballesteros, 52, who said this month he was 90 percent recovered from surgery to remove a cancerous brain tumour, also won three British Opens and two U.S. Masters and is one of golf’s most charismatic figures.

“I cannot compare to Seve in any way,” said Olazabal, 43. “What Seve did for the game of golf and the way he did it, there is no one else I know that equals his achievements.

“We had great players like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer … and these days Tiger Woods but to come from a background (like Seve’s) where you didn’t have any kind of help to practice the game, he had to develop all of his skills by feel.

“To achieve what he achieved, especially being so attractive to the crowds, made him special.”

Olazabal, who has won 29 tournaments worldwide and played in seven Ryder Cups, said he never thought he would attain the level of success he has.

“When I first started playing I played for the fun of it,” he said. “I just kept on trying to improve my game, trying to get better.

“It never came to me I would be in the Hall of Fame or win events. I thought (getting in the Hall) was going to be out of reach, to be honest.”

Olazabal, who is competing at Wentworth this week, will be officially inducted along with fellow 2009 class members Lanny Wadkins and Christy O’Connor in St Augustine, Florida on Nov. 2.


May 20, 2009

Golf Today Classifieds

Bookmark page with:
What are these Email This Page Subscribe Follow us on Twitter Top of Page
News Tours Rankings Tuition Course Directory Equipment Asian Travel Notice Board

© Golftoday.co.uk 1996-2014