The words of a champion
Nespresso was represented at the 2010 Ryder Cup in wales from 1st to 4th october by José María Olazábal. Our golfing hero tells us about his passion for this competition.
WHAT DOES THE RYDER CUP MEAN TO YOU?
It is one of the most important sporting events in the world. Every golfer wants to play in it. We aim to be as consistent as possible during all the other tournaments we play in the hope of being selected for the Ryder Cup. The fact that it is a team competition with no prize money creates a special atmosphere. The bonds that form between fellow team members are incredible. Lifelong friendships have been forged there.
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR FIRST RYDER CUP?
I was extremely nervous, but my friend Seve Ballesteros helped me to relax. And to top it all, Europe won!
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR HIGHLIGHTS IN THIS COMPETITION?
The big ones would have to be my first selection in 1987 in the USA and the 1997 competition, which we won in my home country of Spain. I’d had little hope of getting there, as I’d been out of competitive golf for two years with a foot injury. I also have strong memories of the 2006 competition in Ireland - another European win which we dedicated to Darren Clarke’s wife, Heather, who had just passed away after a battle with breast cancer. What was all the more powerful was that Darren played brilliantly throughout the entire tournament.
WHO WOULD BE IN YOUR RYDER CUP DREAM TEAM?
I would choose Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam and Seve Ballesteros from the old hands. I would also pick Sergio Garcia and Darren Clarke.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PASSION FOR GOLF?
I grew up on a golf course. My father and grandfather were greenkeepers and I always wanted to be a professional golfer.
After a nail-bitingly close competition, Europe beat the USA to win the 2010 Ryder Cup in Newport, Wales 14½ to 13½. The Northern Irish golfer, Graeme McDowell, claimed the winning point. At the end of the competition, José María Olazábal, vice-captain of the European team, did not rule out the idea of captaining the 2012 team in the USA.
JOSÉ MARÍA OLAZÁBAL IN 10 DATES1966 : Born on 5th February in Hondarribia (Spain).
1985 : Turned pro.
1986 : Came second in the European Order of Merit.
1987 : First Ryder Cup selection and victory.
1992 : Came third in the British Open at Muirfield (Scotland).
1994 : First Grand Slam tournament win at the US Masters in Augusta.
1999 : Second Masters win.
2001 : French Open win.
2005 : Came third in the British Open at Saint Andrews (Scotland).
2006 : Most recent Ryder Cup selection and win. He has won a total of 31 competitions on all the international tours.
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