AUGUSTA, Ga. – There is something noticeably different about Jose Maria Olazabal’s locker in Augusta National’s Champions Locker Room this week.
“I see the locker is much fuller than it used to be,” Olazabal said.
Last year the two-time Masters champion penned a letter to fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia on the Wednesday evening of the Masters. In the note, Olazabal mentioned that he didn’t have a locker mate.
“He said, ‘I’m not sharing my locker at the moment, and I hope that I get to do it with you,’” Garcia said.
Of course, Garcia went on to win the Masters last year for his first major title, and in his winning press conference asked Augusta National member Craig Heatley if the club could find a way to assign him to Olazabal’s locker.
Garcia’s wish was Augusta National’s command as Garcia’s nameplate is permanently fixated right next to his idol’s.
When Olazabal arrived for this year’s Masters and saw the additional nameplate, he couldn’t help but smile. Just three players – Olazabal, Garcia and Seve Ballesteros – have won the Masters, and he will now get to share a spot in the Champions Locker Room with a fellow countryman.
“In a way it was a bit emotional in the sense that with the history of the Spaniards here, to be able to share the locker with another Spaniard up in the Champions Locker Room, that’s special,” Olazabal said.
Garcia had one word to describe his new locker: “Beautiful.”