Fore please! Doctor Jose Maria Olazabal now driving

Bernie McGuire

Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain putting at the 11th green during Day Two of The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at The King's Course at Gleneagles on July 22, 2022 in Auchterarder, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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Fore please! Doctor Jose Maria Olazabal now driving.

This could be the introduction facing the double Augusta winner next April at the Masters.

It sounds all right and proper for the winner of two Masters green jackets and that is what Augusta and European Ryder Cup captaincy hero is now to be addressed following the award of an honorary doctorate at the University of St. Andrews ahead of last week’s 150th Open.

Joining Olazabal were fellow major winners in Lee Trevino, Sir Bob Charles, Sandy Lyle and Catriona Matthew. The greatest tribute paid, however, by said institution and by the city itself was the appointment of Jack Nicklaus as an honorary citizen of St. Andrews, and this after the council overlooked ‘The Golden Bear’ 12-years ago at the 2010 Open.

Olazabal follows in the Spanish footsteps of Seve Ballesteros in being awarded a doctorate.

“Being awarded a doctorate has not made me any wiser”, said Olazabal laughing when asked about his award at this week’s Senior Open at Gleneagles.

“Seriously, it was nice award, a wonderful ceremony and also very emotional. The whole ceremony was just very touching but then it was doubly emotional to see Jack (Nicklaus) struggling for words when it came time for him to speak.

“You could see how much it meant to him and all of us in attendance.

“Last week’s Open seemed to be emotional for many people as we saw Tiger get very emotional on Friday, and we rarely see that side of Tiger.  To see him crying on 18 in walking up the fairway and onto the green was very touching, and it showed just how much golf means to him and to all of us.

“Of course, Tiger’s won two Opens at St. Andrews and we know what Jack has also managed to achieve at the Home of Golf, so it was pretty special for them both while I have many fond memories myself of playing The Open on the Old Course”.

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