Jose Maria Olazabal to make PGA TOUR Champions debut in 2017

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Jose Maria Olazabal

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – World Golf Hall of Fame member Jose Maria Olazabal will make his PGA TOUR Champions debut at the Allianz Championship, to be contested at The Old Course at Broken Sound in Boca Raton, Fla., the week of February 6-12, 2017. Olazabal will make back-to-back starts on Tour, competing the following week at the Chubb Classic in Naples, Fla.

Olazabal will be one of the notable PGA TOUR Champions rookies set to debut in 2017, including Steve Stricker, Jerry Kelly and David Toms, who will compete this week at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

“We have been anticipating Jose Maria’s debut, and are thrilled to welcome him to PGA TOUR Champions,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Greg McLaughlin. “He is a true gentleman and one of the game’s all-time greats, and I am confident that he will add considerable excitement to both the Allianz Championship and the Chubb Classic.”

Olazabal joins a strong field at the Allianz Championship, highlighted by Toms, defending Charles Schwab Cup champion Bernhard Langer, two-time major champion John Daly, Miguel Angel Jimenez, and the top 36 players from the 2016 Charles Schwab Cup.

“Adding a player like Jose Maria Olazabal to this already impressive Allianz Championship field is wonderful,” said Tournament Director Ryan Dillon. “Fans in South Florida will welcome him with open arms as he will surely add excitement to the tournament.”

Olazabal, who turned 50 on February 5, 2016, famously won the Masters Tournament in 1994 and 1999, defeating current PGA TOUR Champions members Tom Lehman and Davis Love III, respectively, by two shots each time.

The Gipuzkoa, Spain native won six times on the PGA TOUR and 21 times on the European Tour, with his storied career giving way to a World Golf Hall of Fame induction in 2009.

Olazabal represented Europe in seven Ryder Cups, posting an 18-8-5 all-time record while leading his team to victories in 1987, 1997 and 2006. He served as captain in the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club near Chicago, where he led the European Team to the largest comeback in Cup history after overcoming a 10-6 deficit during the singles matches on Sunday.

Over the past three years, Olazabal has made just four starts on the PGA TOUR, with three appearances at the Masters Tournament and one at the U.S. Open in 2013.

 

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