June 19, 2013 / 11:20 AM / 6 years ago

Olazabal wins Spain's most prestigious sports award

Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal tees off on the second hole during the first round of the 2013 U.S. Open golf championship at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish golfer Jose Maria Olazabal has won the Iberian nation’s most prestigious sports award, the Prince of Asturias prize, after he captained Europe’s Ryder Cup team to a stunning win against United States last year.

“One of the best golfers in history, with two Masters titles at Augusta and four Ryder Cup wins, a competition in which he also showed his leadership qualities, as captain helping the Europe team to an epic comeback in 2012,” the jury said in announcing their decision.

The 47-year-old Olazabal was a “worthy successor” to his great friend and compatriot Seve Ballesteros, who won the award in 1989, they added.

Reporting by Raquel Castillo, writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Justin Palmer

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