Olazabal tries to ease Ballesteros' burden
Wednesday 02 April 1997
As much as Jose Maria Olazabal needed cheering up last year, when his foot injury prevented him from hitting a single ball in competition, the Spaniard is hoping to return the favour to his countryman Seve Ballesteros. "My intention is to do the best I can to make the Ryder Cup team," said Olazabal, whose victory in the Canaries two weeks ago capped a remarkable return to tournament golf.
"Up to now, I cannot play more than two tournaments in a row, but my foot is improving all the time and I may be able to increase my schedule," Olazabal added. He has had to be picked for three of his four Ryder Cup appearances, but knows Ballesteros is hampered in his choices now that he has accepted he has lost his battle to get more than two wild cards.
Both Spaniards are preparing for next week's Masters by playing in the Freeport McDermott Classic at English Turn, but in contrasting moods. Olazabal is 41 under par for his three tournaments this year, while Ballesteros is 30 over in missing the cut in all his five events, after finishing 69th in the Order of Merit last season, easily his lowest position since 1974, the year he turned professional.
"Winning in the Canaries did surprise me," Olazabal said. "I have never cried with tears of happiness like that on the golf course before. But I am still trying to be calm, to do the best I can and to enjoy it."
Olazabal does not want to raise his expectations about the Masters. "I don't know what to expect at Augusta," he said. "Just to be there is going to be very special after watching it on television last year when I was in a bad way.
"Seve has a lot on his mind with being Ryder Cup captain. I am confident that he will play some good tournaments this year. As soon as the Ryder Cup is over he will start concentrating again. He was striking the ball very well when we played in practice recently. He just needs a few good rounds to give him some confidence."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United vs Newcastle match report: Brilliant Wayne Rooney scores twice to fire up United's unlikely title challenge
Championship round-up: Emile Heskey back with a bang in Bolton victory
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Manchester United 3 Newcastle 1: 'I'm playing like Paul Scholes,' says Wayne Rooney
Sports Quiz of the Year 2014: The Questions
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...