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Olazabal envies South Africa

Last updated: 26th February 2013


Jose Maria Olazabal: Envious of South African golf

Jose Maria Olazabal: Envious of South African golf

Former Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal said South Africa has been blessed with extraordinary golfing talent over the years.

"You have a lot of great players, no question. For whatever reason this country is able to deliver great players. I don't now why," said Olazabal.

"To be honest, the level here is much better than in Spain. It's true that for a while we had great players in Spain, but we are struggling to see a new generation coming up. But you have a lot of great players, Major winners, in this country. In a way I envy that," added the Spaniard, who himself has won two major titles.

In the history of golf, just three countries have secured more major titles than South Africa. They are the United States, Scotland and England. Most significantly though, South Africa has been consistent over several generations.

Olazabal said he was not surprised that South Africa had six tournaments which were co-sanctioned with the European Tour.

"This is a country that's doing well at the moment. Europe is struggling, as everyone knows. It's nice to come to countries like this where the courses are so good and the weather is great. It's great to play competitive golf under great conditions," said the Spaniard.

"It's something in the water here. It's incredible. There are so many wonderful players coming out of here now. It's a tribute to the guys who paved the way like Gary Player, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen."

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