Jose Maria Olazabal

Jose Maria Olazabal

Jose Maria Olazabal: A Brief Biography

Jose Maria Olazabal
Jose Maria Olazabal Image Source: Getty Images

Jose Maria Olazabal's Early Life and Background

Olazabal was born on February 5, 1966, in Hondarribia, a village in Spain's Basque Country. Interestingly, the Real Golf Club de San Sebastian opened the day after he was born, just close to his family's house.

At the golf club where his mother also worked, Gaspar, his father, took over his grandfather's job as greenskeeper. Olazabal could practice on the course in the late evenings at the age of six. He started hitting golf balls at the age of two, with a shorter club.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Amateur Career

Olazabal competed at all levels for Spain; at the age of 16, he competed in the 1982 Eisenhower Trophy and again two years later, in 1984. He defeated Colin Montgomerie 5 and 4 in the final to win the Amateur Championship at Formby Golf Club in Liverpool, England, in 1984.

He had previously won the Boys Amateur Championship at Glenbervie Golf Club in Scotland in 1983. He became the first player in history to win the British Boy's, Youth's, and Amateur titles in the same year when he won the British Youths Open Amateur Championship at Ganton Golf Club in England.

In the semi-final match between Spain and Scotland at the 1985 European Amateur Team Championship, Olazabal defeated Colin Montgomerie 3 and 2 with a hole-in-one at the 13th hole. Scotland did, however, go on to win the team competition.

At the 1985 Open Championship at Royal St. George's Golf Club, Olazabal tied for 25th place as a low amateur, which was a month before his British Youths titles.

His amateur wins are as follows:

  • 1982 Spanish Amateur Closed Championship

  • 1983 Italian Open Amateur Championship

  • 1983 Biarritz Cup

  • 1983 Spanish International Amateur Championship

  • 1983 Boys Amateur Championship

  • 1983 Spanish Amateur Closed Championship

  • 1984 The Amateur Championship

  • 1984 Belgian International Youths Championship

  • 1984 Spanish International Amateur Championship

  • 1985 British Youths Open Amateur Championship

Jose Maria Olazabal's Professional Career

At the mere age of 20, Olazabal finished second on the European Tour Order of Merit in 1986, his first professional season. He placed in the top 10 in each of his first nine seasons, except two. A foot injury prevented him from playing in 1996, but he returned to finish in the top 10 of the Order of Merit in 1997, 1999, and 2000.

Between 1989 and 1995, he was in the top 10 in the world for more than 300 weeks. He would have become World No. 1 if he had defeated Ian Woosnam in the 1991 Masters Tournament; instead, he placed second.

After receiving an invitation to the NEC World Series of Golf in Ohio, Olazabal appeared on the PGA Tour in 1990 and won with a score of 262, under 18, defeating Lanny Wadkins by 12 strokes.

Olazabal won two major championships: the 1994 Masters Tournament and the 1999 Masters Tournament. With these victories, he joins the select group of two Amateur Championship winners who have gone on to win a professional major since World War II. At the third round of the 2000 Valhalla Golf Club, he tied the record for the lowest round of the PGA Championship with a score of 63.

He kept his membership on the European Tour and started competing on the PGA Tour in 2001. Though he did have a respectable year on the PGA Tour in 2002, finishing 24th on the money list and winning close to $2 million, he has not been as successful as he was on the European Tour in the 1980s and 1990s.

From 1987 to 2006, Olazabal competed for Europe seven times in the Ryder Cup. He had a well-known, long-lasting partnership with Seve Ballesteros, and in 2006, he had an equally fruitful association with Sergio García.

During the Ryder Cup 2012, Olazabal led the European team in the trophy defense. His team trailed 10–4 on the second day and 10–6 heading into the final round, but he helped orchestrate the greatest Ryder Cup comeback in history, as the European team won by a final score of 14½ points to 13½. Olazabal was overcome with emotion following his victory, calling it the best moment of his life and dedicating it to his late friend Seve Ballesteros.

The world record for a successfully completed putt is held by Olazabal; he holed a putt that traveled the entire length of the cabin on the European Ryder Cup team's Concorde to the United States in 1999. The ball went for 26.17 seconds at 1,270 mph on the Concorde, breaking the previous record of 8.5 miles established in 1997 by Brad Faxon.

In 2009, Olazabal received 56% of the vote in the worldwide poll and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

For his achievements as a player and team captain during the 2012 Ryder Cup, Olazabal received Spain's highest sporting award, the Prince of Asturias Award, in June 2013. Since the award's inception in 1987, he is only the second golfer to receive it; Seve Ballesteros was the other one in 1989.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Playing Style

Unfortunately, there is no information available regarding the playing style of Jose Maria Olazabal.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Caddie

There is no precise information available regarding his current caddie; however, his caddie during his 1994 Masters Tournament was Dave Renwick, who died due to cancer in February 2016 at the age of 62.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Golf Journey

The native of Hondarribia, Spain, Jose Maraa Olazabal, started playing golf professionally in 1986. He has won 30 professional events in his 38-year career, including two Masters Tournaments (1994 and 1999). He also won ten amateur titles between 1982 and 1985.

He received his first Masters invitation forty years ago, in 1984, after winning the Amateur Championship at Formby, England. He defeated Tom Lehman in two strokes to win his first Green Jacket 30 years ago, in 1994. And 25 years ago, in 1999, he won by two strokes over Davis Love III to become a two-time Masters champion.

He has thirteen top-15 finishes at Augusta National. Throughout his career, the member of the World Golf Hall of Fame has won over 25 times internationally, participated in seven European Ryder Cups, and captained the team in 2012.

In 2009, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and in 2013, he won the Prince of Asturias Award, considered Spain's highest order for a sport award.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Achievements

Jose Maria Olazabal's achievements are as follows:

  • His 23 professional wins on the European Tour are the 9th all-time highest.

  • Most consecutive cuts made – 9 (1994 Open Championship, 1997 Open Championship) in majors.

  • The longest streak of top-10s – 2 (twice) in majors.

  • Career highest ranking of No. 2 in the world.

  • 10 amateur titles.

  • 2009 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

  • PGA Championship record for the lowest score of 63 in 2000.

  • The most successful Ryder Cup pairing ever, Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros, together won 12 points while playing in pairs and amassed an 11-2-2 record in foursomes and fourballs.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Majors

Sl. No.TournamentsYears
1.Master TournamentWon (1994, 1999)
2.PGA ChampionshipT4 (2000)
3.U.S. OpenT8 (1990, 1991)
4.The Open Championship3rd/T3 (1992, 2005)

Jose Maria Olazabal's Awards and Honors

Awards and HonorsYears
World Golf Hall of Fame2009
Sir Henry Cotton: Rookie of the Year1986
Price of Asturias Award2013

Jose Maria Olazabal's Net Worth

Jose Maria Olazabal’s net worth is not known.

As per Spotrac, his total career earnings are estimated to be $12.7 million, including $12.3 million from official tournaments and $426,643 from unofficial tournaments.

Being a two-time Masters Tournament champion, he has a lifetime exemption for the event; he appeared in the 2023 Masters but failed to make the cut. According to the Masters website, he has played in 34 Masters events, earning $2.63 million between 1985 and 2023.

His largest payday was when he won the 1999 Masters Tournament, defeating Davis Love III by 2 strokes and a score of 280, under 9, earning $720,000. The second-largest winner's share came in the 2002 Buick Invitational, where he defeated J. L. Lewis and Mark O'Meara for a score of 275, under 13, by a single stroke, earning $648,000.

He won another considerable amount of $522,000 at the 2007 Players Championship when he tied for third place. A few more good enough earnings were in at the 2005 Open Championship, tying for third place, earning $424,000, and at the 2006 Buick Invitational, where he finished solo second, earning $448,000.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Ventures

There is no information available about any of the ventures of Jose Maria Olazabal.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Assets

Jose Maria Olazabal resides in Hondarribia, Basque Country, Spain. But no other information is available about his residence, or for that matter, any of the assets owned by him.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Family

There is no information available about Jose Maria Olazabal's family. He is an extremely private person, and he has kept his personal life under wraps.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Wife

There is no information regarding Jose Maria Olazabal's marriage, but a few sources indicate that he is unmarried. Olazabal never revealed anything about his personal life, including whether he is married or not.

Jose Maria Olazabal’s Charity

Jose Maria Olazabal is well-known for organizing the annual Olazábal' & Friends Charity Pro-Am in Greece, which benefits underprivileged kids. 18 professionals and 54 amateurs team up for the three-day charity tournament to compete to raise money.

However, the amount raised and donated to any other charitable activity of Olazabal is not known.

Jose Maria Olazabal's Cars

There is no information available regarding the car collection of Jose Maria Olazabal's as of March 2024.

FAQ's On Jose Maria Olazabal

A. Jose Maria Olazabal was born on February 5, 1966, in Hondarribia, Spain.

A. Jose Maria Olazabal won ten amateur titles, including the Amateur Championship in 1984 and the British Youths Open Amateur Championship in 1985.

A. Jose Maria Olazabal turned pro in 1986, achieving success with two Masters Tournament victories in 1994 and 1999 and numerous top rankings.

A. Jose Maria Olazabal competed for Europe seven times and led the team to a historic comeback victory as captain in 2012.

A. Jose Maria Olazabal has won 30 professional titles, including two Masters Tournaments, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.

A. Yes, he organizes the Olazábal' & Friends Charity Pro-Am in Greece, benefiting underprivileged children.

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