Date of Birth:5th February 1966Country:Spain

José Maria Olazabal

Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last November, Jose Maria Olazabal - who has fought with a medical condition known as rheumatoid polyarthritis in both feet for much of the last decade - is a player who garners the utmost respect from everyone in the golfing community. Having taken up golf as a two-year-old when his father, Gaspar, the greenkeeper at the local golf club in San Sebastian, gave him a cut-down club, Olazabal showed his immense promise when winning the British Boys', Youths' and Amateur titles in his teenage years. In his first year as a professional (1986), he won twice on the PGA European Tour and, in his career, the Spaniard has amassed 30 titles worldwide. Olazabal's best individual performances came in the US Masters at Augusta National, where he won the tournament for a first time in 1994 and then regained the title in 1999. That second major win was particularly poignant, as it came after he'd overcome his first battle with his arthritic condition... Olazabal was one part of the so-called 'Spanish Armada' along with Seve Ballesteros in the Ryder Cup, a partnership which became the most successful in the long history of the match between Europe and the United States ... lists pop music, movies, hunting and ecology among his interests.