From Seve to Sergio: the other five Spanish green jackets

Spanish golf is a success story in Augusta. None as illustrious as his, except for the United States, of course. A chronology of green jackets, six in total, already breaking the tie with the five that South Africa holds, three by Gary Player, which starts with Seve Ballesteros, continues with Txema Olazábal and Sergio García and ends with Jon Rahm, the fourth recipient of the most coveted item in the sport. Next, a review of the great successes of national golf in the most iconic major:

1980: Seve’s first

In its first 43 editions, the Masters only saw American champions and one South African, Gary Player. Was It looks who opened the European season in the tournament. Nothing would ever be the same again. Until 1993, another six green jackets would fall on the Old Continent: another of his in 1983, two of Nick Faldo (89 and 90, one of the three that he has repeated), two of Langer (85 and 93), one of Woosnam (91 ) and one from Lyle (88). Seve, who arrived with back problems, underestimated by the American press despite being the reigning champion of the British Open, started with a 66 and did not play a round over par. He was four shots ahead of a pairing of American Gibby Gilbert and Australian Jack Newton. It was the last edition played with bermuda and ryegrass greens, as they were changed to bentgrass in 1981.

Seve, in the green jacket in 1983.
Seve, in the green jacket in 1983.Brian MorganGetty Images

1983: confirmation of genius

If his first green jacket was put into question, if he had been lucky, if the wide streets of Augusta benefited him, all discussion was buried with his second triumph, which will be 40 years old on Tuesday, in the last edition that ended on a Monday due to bad weather. On a Saturday that arnold palmer, in the year in which he made the cut for the last time in his career, defined as “the worst” who lived in Augusta, Seve threw a -2 and placed second. On Sunday he was already one and on Monday, with a 69 card, he prevailed with four shots over the Americans Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite. And that Amen Corner choked him, with a bogey at 12 and an exit at 13 that closed too much and went into the trees. He hit a miracle 5 there and then buckled five pairs in a row. “It was as if he was driving a Ferrari and the other Chevrolets,” Kite summed up his triumph.

1994: Olazabal takes over

If the 90s were an extension of the golden 80s for European golf, that was largely thanks to Txema. His first green jacket was suffered. With a +2 on the first day, he didn’t start to smell like a champion until the end of Saturday, when he was already second with cards of 67 and 69 shots. A trip that cost him a bogey on the 17th on Sunday almost ruined everything. If it weren’t for the fact that Tom Lehman missed for birdie on that very hole, in fact, this paragraph might not exist. But the American missed the last one and José Mari scratched a pair of fine stylist for -9. Two blows less than Lehman and one more chapter to the Spanish fairy tale in Augusta. Before that final dramatic day, in his dressing room locker, he had read a note left there by his good friend Seve: “Keep calm. Let your game speak for you. You have golf to win this, ”he prayed.

Olazabal, crowned in 1994.
Olazabal, crowned in 1994.

1999: the rebirth of Txema

The second green jacket for the man from Hondarribia was lucky to be reborn as a great champion. After his first win, he spent 18 months off the fields with a foot injury that led him to think that he might not walk normally again. “Honestly, I thought my career was over,” he went on to say. Nothing is further from reality. Sunday April 11, 1999 would end up becoming one of the most important days of his career, the one that definitely seated him at the table of golf greats. This time the harangue came from Gary Player. “Look at me, look at me. You are strong as a bull. You have to believe. You have the game. You can win this again, ”she snapped after hearing him lament her problems with the driver in the locker room. And Olazabal believed. He climbed to first place on Friday with a sensational 66 and he did not abandon it even with the 73 on Saturday. With Davis Love III and Greg Norman away, with whom the copper was beaten in the denouement, this time there were no scares. I can enjoy the walk up the fairway to the 18th green, feel the pre-maestro crowning atmosphere. “I enjoyed every step, because this time I was aware of the situation,” he said.

Sergio, on the 18th green with the 2017 champion trophy.
Sergio, on the 18th green with the 2017 champion trophy.Andrew RedingtonGetty Images

2017: finally Sergio

If he hadn’t won Justin Rose a green jacket worth as much as the rest of his palmares in a dramatic playoff, Sergio Garcia might have become a prominent member of the club of great golfers without a major. But the Englishman’s drive on the first hole of the playoff, after tying at -9, found the grove and Sergio converted the first of the two putts he had to win. The first most expensive major in history: at the 74th attempt, more than anyone before, and after 22 top-10s. In a nice gesture, Olazábal wanted to repeat with the man from Castellón what Seve had with him in 1994. “I don’t share my locker (in the Augusta Champions Locker Room) at the moment and I wouldn’t mind sharing it with you,” he wrote. In 2018 we had to put one on Sergio, whose eldest daughter is called Azalea after the 13th hole at Augusta.

Read Also:  Elisa Aguilar on the New Role of Spanish Speakers in the US: Embracing Opportunities for Young Professionals

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here