The 57-year-old Spaniard is synonymous with the biennial contest against the United States, having played for Europe on seven occasions from 1987 to 2006; been a Vice Captain on three further occasions, in 2008, 2010 and 2014; and, of course, was Captain for the most famous European comeback victory of all time at Medinah in 2012.
In his seven Ryder Cup appearances as a player, which yielded three wins and a tie in 1989 which saw Europe retain the trophy, Olazábal played 31 times, winning 18 of those matches and returning 20½ points in total for the European cause. His partnership with the late, great Seve Ballesteros still stands head and shoulders above any other pairing in the contest’s history, the Spanish duo winning 12 points from their 15 outings together.
Outside of the Ryder Cup arena, Olazábal has notched up 33 professional wins worldwide in a storied career, including 23 on the European Tour from 1986 to 2005. But he is best remembered for his two Masters triumphs at Augusta National – in 1994 and 1999 – the second being especially emotional as it came in the wake of fears that rheumatoid arthritis might mean he would never play professionally again.