Olazabal will miss the US Masters

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The Independent Online
Jose-Maria Olazabal is out of the US Masters, it was confirmed yesterday by his manager, Sergio Gomez.

On the day after Seve Ballesteros withdrew from the Players' Championship in Florida because of back trouble, Olazabal gave up hope of making his comeback at Augusta in a fortnight's time.

Masters champion two years ago, the 30-year-old Spaniard has not played in any tournament since last September because of arthritis in both his feet.

"He is improving, but very, very slowly," Gomez said. "It is obviously very disappointing that he won't be at Augusta, but his view is that it is not the end of the world and these things happen in sporting life.

"The good news is that the side-effects Jose-Maria had been suffering are going," Gomez said. "He is not complaining about pain in his heel and knee any more and he is walking much better.

"He is still not good enough to go and play golf yet, but he is pedalling on an exercise bike to stay fit and on the practice range he is not just hitting balls, but also going to fetch them now. A few weeks ago he had somebody else to do that for him."