Would you give up a major trophy for a Ryder Cup victory? Jose Maria Olazabal knows exactly which one he would choose…
It is no secret that Jose Maria Olazabal is besotted with the Ryder Cup.
The Spaniard has become synonymous with the event since his debut in 1987 by creating a legendary alliance with Seve Ballesteros.
Both have become European icons with their major-winning exploits, owning seven of golf’s biggest trophies between them.
But the Ryder Cup is different to Olazabal, who took his Team Europe colleagues aback at the 44th edition in Rome with a statement no one seemed to expect.
“We had Olazabal as one of the vice-captains. Olazabal basically lives and dies for the Ryder Cup,” European vice-captain Edoardo Molinari told No Laying Up.
“He was telling us some Seve stories one evening and then eventually, he almost started crying and we said, ‘Jose, what’s wrong?’
“He said, ‘You guys don’t realise how much this means to me’. He said, ‘I would happily give one major back to play in one more Ryder Cup’.
“This is how much it means to him, so it’s special.”
Olazabal served as a vice-captain alongside Molinari, his brother Francesco, Thomas Bjorn and Nicolas Colsaerts under captain Luke Donald.
The 57-year-old possesses two Green Jackets from the Masters which he won in 1994 and 1999.
Olazabal made seven appearances for Europe against America in his career and tasted victory on three occasions.
He further cemented his name in Ryder Cup folklore when he led Europe to a historic comeback win at Medinah in 2012.
Much like many of his players, Olazabal was overcome with emotion when Martin Kaymer’s decisive putt dropped in a week when the late Ballesteros’ presence was felt.
Olazabal was part of yet another European victory at Marco Simone Country Club this year as the home side beat the USA 16.5-11.5.
NOW READ: Ryder Cup Power Rankings 2023
What do you make of this Jose Maria Olazabal Ryder Cup claim? Would you prefer a golden trophy over a major one? Tell us on X!
Could the golf ball be rolled back for everyone?