SGS Spotlight on Jose Maria Olazabal
This week brings the exultant return of golf, and Brendan and Andy will back to the normal tournament show and routine on Wednesday, digging into Colonial and its anchoring-heavy field. But first, they start the week with one more Spotlight to satiate during this golf-less time. The subject is Jose Maria Olazabal. They discuss Ollie’s incredible ascension from a farmhouse on a golf course at the foothills of the Pyrenees to an amateur stud to an instant success in his first year on the Euro Tour. His early Euro Tour success is given the full treatment as is his immediate Ryder Cup dynamism with Seve, when Ollie was just 21 years old. The outrageous 12-shot victory at the 1990 NEC is also celebrated with some amusing quotes from Lanny Wadkins. The two Masters wins are thoroughly reviewed, with a lengthy exploration of the intervening injury that kept him out of golf back home for more than a year at what should have been the peak of his powers. This reclusive time dealing with a foot injury was full of odd rumors and fears that he’d be confined to a wheelchair and never play again. Ollie’s sui generis approach to life is also celebrated, from his constant rebuffing of endorsement money, Mark McCormack and IMG, American food, and his choice to live with his parents into adulthood and even after he’d won two green jackets.