‘I’m a little emotional’: Jose Maria Olazabal’s heartfelt tribute to Seve after making Masters cut

Jose Maria Olazabal

Jose Maria Olazabal pictured at the 2021 Masters.

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Jose Maria Olazabal, the two-time Masters champ and Ryder Cup hero, hasn’t made the cut at Augusta in 14 years. At 55 years old, that feat gets more difficult each year. But it’s remained a goal for Olazabal, and with the firm-and-fast conditions playing into his advantage, he finished 36 holes at two over — one shot inside the Masters cut.

“When the golf course is playing fast, I’m not hitting 5-woods and 7-woods all day long to the greens,” he said. “It’s lovely to see Augusta played like we have the last two days, fast and firm. It reminds me a lot of the late ’80s and ’90s.”

Jose Maria Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros at the Masters.

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But the tactics of playing Augusta aside, Olazabal’s thoughts following his second round quickly turned to his close friend and fellow Masters legend, Seve Ballesteros, who died in 2011 after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. He dedicated his performance to him, along with all the victims of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I know that making the cut is not such an extraordinary thing, but I want to dedicate this accomplishment to him and all those people who have left us over the last year,” he said. “I think Seve would be happy. I miss not having him here for a big hug.”

Seve was in Olazabal’s thoughts even before he knew he’d be sticking around for the weekend. His outfit, he said, was a nod to his dear friend who would’ve turned 64 on Friday.

“I am wearing navy blue and white, which are the colors of Seve and today would be his birthday,” he said.

It served as a little slice of inspiration, Olazabal said; a reminder of the more important things in life. Seve undoubtedly would’ve approved.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Director of Game Improvement Content at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.