Jose Maria Olazabal, 58, makes weekend after Masters cut line moves

Jose Maria Olazabal left Augusta National on Friday convinced he would be one stroke shy of making the cut at the 88th Masters.

But by day’s end, enough players had tumbled down the leaderboard to move the cut line from 5 over par to 6 over. The likes of Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson won’t see the weekend, but Olazabal, 58, made the cut on the number.

The 1994 and 1999 Masters winner from Spain shot 77 without a single birdie in Thursday’s opening round. But Olazabal got into an early groove Friday by birdieing the second and third holes, the latter thanks to a terrific approach shot that rolled within feet of the pin.

After a bogey at No. 9, Olazabal made the misstep that he felt cost him at the famed par-3 12th in Amen Corner. His tee shot didn’t have enough distance and rolled down into the water hazard. He then put his third shot into the greenside bunker en route to triple bogey.

“I paid dearly, I have to say,” Olazabal said. “Yes, just a pity. I played really good golf today. It was just a shame that I put a bad swing on 12. As simple as that.”

Olazabal said he was proud of how he kept fighting, as he finished the final six holes in 1 under par for a 73. Though he didn’t know it at the time, making a birdie at the par-3 16th to get to 6-over 150 was enough for him to reach the weekend, after all.

“I leave the grounds with head held high,” Olazabal said. “I played really good golf two days. It’s true that I made a couple of bad mistakes that cost me dearly, but apart from that, when I came here early in the week, I would have never imagined I would be able to play the level of golf I played today.”

Olazabal, who made the Masters cut as recently as 2021, proved again that age is only a number when it comes to past champions remembering their way around Augusta.

Vijay Singh of Fiji (61 years old) is at 4 over through two rounds, as is Phil Mickelson (53). They are tied for 35th with the likes of Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Jason Day of Australia.

Last year, Fred Couples set the record for the oldest player to make the cut at the Masters at 63 years, 187 days old.

Thomas continued a recent trend of rough outings at major championships. The two-time major winner stood at even par for the tournament with four holes to play Friday. He proceeded to play Nos. 15-18 in 7 over par, with three double bogeys and one bogey, to shoot 79 and miss the cut by a shot.

Thomas’ tumble helped move the cut line. Only the top 50 players and ties make the weekend at the Masters, but for much of the evening that group was 5 over or better. Once the round was complete, 11 players at 6 over were tied for 50th, including Olazabal, Rickie Fowler, Australia’s Adam Scott and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.

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