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Olazabal to test his fitness in Spain

IrishGolfer

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Sep 1, 2004
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I feel very sorry for Olazabal. I truly hopes he battles through this, golf would lose a great competitor.

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José Maria Olazábal, sporting a full beard and a desire to test his fitness, competes in his native Spain this week after months of worry that he might be facing the prospect of a premature retirement from the game.

Having spent 18 months out of the game in the mid-1990s, the two-time Masters Champion has been out of action for seven months this time with more rheumatism problems.

"When you have pain and a total lack of mobility you hit bottom, for sure," said Olazábal on the eve of the MAPFRE Open de Andalucia by Valle Romano at Aloha Golf Club in southern Spain.

Asked if he had thought he might be forced into retirement, he added: "September, October, November, December. Do you want me to go on?
"It's been very painful, and I still don't feel great. But I'm better than I have been for the last few months, and that is a positive sign. If everything follows on track then that's all I am hoping for. I'm not concerned about results at the moment.

"I'm taking an injection every two months - and now I am here to see how I can cope with competition. My goal is just to see how my body will cope. The lower back is maybe the worst part - it gets tight as the round goes on.

"But I had therapy yesterday and will keep getting it pretty much every day. It's not reached the point where it's a problem when swinging the club - if that's the case I might not be able to keep on playing."

Olazábal will make a decision after this week whether to play next week's Houston Open. After that, of course, comes The Masters. But despite his love of Augusta - and his record there - he states he will play only if he feels up to it.

As for The Ryder Cup in September, the 42 year old - winner of all his three games on his return to The European Team two years ago - has still to earn a qualifying point seven months into the race and he rules out keeping his place "unless my game hits standards I have not seen before".

Last May he accepted an invitation from Nick Faldo to be one of his assistants at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, on the proviso he could stand down if he qualified.

Little did he know then that he would soon be sitting at home watching the race for so long rather than being part of it.

"I've had pain since before the US Open (last June). Last time it affected my feet; this time it was my shoulder, back and knee."
 

Irish

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May 9, 2007
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looks like he's going to make the cut...71 and 72 and McIlroy played better this week had a nice 68 this week
 
OP
IrishGolfer

IrishGolfer

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Sep 1, 2004
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Yeah, I've been keeping an eye on things happening on the Iberian peninsula. Good old Olly. Looks like the Big Dazza is struggling though!
 

LyleG

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Aug 10, 2006
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I really feel for Oly. My Mom suffers from severe rheumatism (rheumatoid arthritis) and I have seen first hand how painful and debilitating this disease can be. I will be pulling for him and wish him all the best.
 

warbirdlover

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I know exactly what he's dealing with. Been there, done that. Although when you're at my level it's not as huge a factor on your score as when you're at his level. My type (ankylosing spondalitus) quits at around age 50 but I've lost flexibility in the lower back (discs erode so vertebrae fuse) so had to adjust my swing to compensate. It's not fun. :)

He's in some serious pain and hope he can continue playing. :)
 

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