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OLAZABAL IN ACTION
Spanish golfer Jose Maria Olazabal hits to the 16th green in the third round of the British Open championship on the Old Course of St. Andrews on July 16, 2005. (UPI Photo/Hugo Philpott)
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José María Olazábal Manterola (Spanish pronunciation: , Basque: ; born 5 February 1966) is a Spanish professional golfer who has enjoyed success on both the European Tour and the PGA Tour, and has won two major championships.

Olazábal was born in Hondarribia, a town in the Basque Autonomous Region of Spain. He burst onto the golf scene in 1985 as a junior, winning The (British) Amateur Championship aged eighteen. Then, in his rookie professional season of 1986, he finished second on the European Tour Order of Merit aged just twenty. In his first nine seasons, he finished in the top 10 every year except two, including another second place in 1989, and he was a regular member of the top ten of the Official World Golf Rankings (over 300 weeks). Had Olazábal beaten Ian Woosnam at The Masters in 1991 (he finished second) he would have become the World number one. He was unable to play in 1996 due to a foot injury but he recovered and recorded further top ten placings in the Order of Merit in 1997, 1999 and 2000. He has more than twenty career titles on this tour.

Both of Olazábal's majors have come in the United States, namely The Masters in 1994 and 1999. These wins make him the only winner of The Amateur Championship since World War II to have gone on to win a professional major. He has been highly placed in The Masters on a number of other occasions. Olazábal shares the record for the lowest round in the PGA Championship (63), which he accomplished in the third round at Valhalla Golf Club in 2000.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jose Maria Olazabal."
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