Jose Maria Olazabal has described making the cut in last week’s Masters as “a very nice surprise”.
The Spaniard, twice a winner of the Green Jacket, made it to the weekend at Augusta National for the first time since 2014 and, whilst he struggled over the final two days, just being there was enough for the 55-year-old.
It's been, what, seven years I think the last time I made the cut so it was great,” said Olazabal ahead of this week’s Chubb Classic on the PGA Tour Champions.
“It was great to make the weekend, especially on the Friday. It would have been Seve's birthday. It was a bit emotional in that regard but it was really nice. I felt proud.
“I think everybody was in a state of shock that I made the cut last week. Me included.”
It’s 22 years since the most recent of Olazabal’s two victories at Augusta National and, whilst a third win is probably beyond him, he believes that his experience of the course continues to come in handy.
“It was pretty much for me all down to saving pars, chip and putt,” he said. I knew I was going to miss a lot of greens. I was hitting 5-woods, 7-woods into most of the par-4s over there.
The greens were pretty hard, especially on Thursday, and you know you're going to miss greens. So the key for me was to make a lot of saves, and that's what I did. I chipped and putted well last week.”