Golf: Olazabal's troubles: Spaniard in need of a stroke of luck

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The Independent Online
JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL, who has not won a tournament for two years, believes he his nowhere near to rediscovering his form as he prepares for today's Tenerife Open at Golf del Sur.

'It's not even close to being right,' said the Spaniard, who celebrated his 28th birthday last weekend.

'I can hit two fantastic shots then the third one goes 50 yards to the right or left. It's no good if you don't know where the ball is going. I have no consistency and I don't feel at all comfortable standing over the ball.

'The last time I felt comfortable on the course was in 1991. Even in 1992, when I was winning tournaments, I had trouble with my driver and didn't feel right.'

Last season, Olazabal's highest finish came in the Irish Open, where he lost to Nick Faldo in a play-off.

But he has not won since February 1992 when he shot a closing 63 to capture the Tenerife title before doubling up by taking the Mediterranean Open the following week.

'I am not setting targets, except to get my game back. That is the main concern,' Olazabal said.

The absence of many of the leading players on the PGA European Tour this week may provide Olazabal with the break he needs.

The Irishman, Eamonn Darcy, makes his competitive return after seven months while other Ryder Cup players - Christy O'Connor Jnr, David Gilford and Jose Rivero - are all chasing the pounds 41,660 top prize.

----------------------------------------------------------------- CARD OF THE COURSE ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hole Yards Par Hole Yards Par 1st 388 4 10th 481 5 2nd 206 3 11th 142 3 3rd 416 4 12th 454 4 4th 284 4 13th 328 4 5th 527 5 14th 478 5 6th 154 3 15th 328 4 7th 295 4 16th 383 4 8th 344 4 17th 202 3 9th 580 5 18th 394 4 Out: 3,194 36 In: 3,190 36 Total: 6,384 72 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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