Jose Maria Olazabal
Born: February 5, 1966
Height: 5 ft 10 in
Turned Pro: 1985
Jose Maria Olazabal is a two-time Masters Champion and one-half of the most feared Ryder Cup team in history. Jose Maria and fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros were called “the Spanish Armada” for their unequaled success in Ryder Cup team play. Paired together for the first time during Europe’s win on American soil in 1987, Olazabal and Ballesteros recorded 11 wins, 2 losses and 2 ties during their Ryder Cup partnerships. They were a major reason Europe began to turn the tide against American teams in the late 80’s and 1990’s.
Olazabal’s breakout win as a golfer occurred at the 1984 British Amateur Championship. He turned pro in 1986 and incredibly finished second on the European Order of Merit and won Rookie of the Year honors.
Jose became one of the most consistent players in Europe and a permanent fixture in the European Order of Merit top ten. He also spent over 300 weeks in the top ten of the Official World Golf Rankings.
More importantly, Olazabal is a two-time Major Champion. “Ollie” captured the 1994 Masters, beating American Tom Lehman by two strokes. He slipped on another green jacket five years later, edging Davis Love III by two shots.
Olazabal currently has 23 European Tour wins and 6 victories on the PGA Tour. In 2012, Olazabal captained the European Ryder Cup team and led them to the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history, defeating the U.S. 14 ½ to 13 ½ after entering the final day with a 4 point deficit.
In 2009, Olazabal was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Olazabal will turn 50 in February 2016.