Olazábal Returns from Rock Bottom

Jose Maria Olazabal
Jose Maria Olazabal is returning to competition for the first time since the 2015 Masters.

Lost amid the hubbub of Tiger Woods’ aborted return to competition this week has been another anticipated reappearance on the fairways.

Ireland Golf TripTwo-time Masters champion José María Olazábal announced Monday that he will compete in this week’s British Masters outside London. It will be the 50-year-old Spaniard’s first tournament start since the 2015 Masters. He will also enter next week’s Portugal Masters, he said.

Olazábal has been afflicted by joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that nearly derailed his career during his prime in the 1990s. “The problem is due to an inflammation of the extremities of the tendons and it’s been a long process of recovery,” Olazábal said. “I hit rock bottom last December and started improving slowly from January.”

The test run over the next two weeks will help the 2012 European Ryder Cup captain decide whether to play the European Tour or its senior circuit next season, he said.



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