Olazabal and Nadal host charity Pro-Am

Compatriotes put on competitive competition in Mallorca

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Submitted by Charlie Lemay on

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL and tennis star Rafael Nadal teamed up last week in their native Spain to put on a charity Pro-Am.

The beneficiaries of the Olazabal & Nadal Invitational Pro-Am were Sport Mundi and Foundation Rafa Nadal.

The Mallorcan sun beat down on the players and there was no shortness of competitive spirit especially from Rafa who once told a Telegraph journalist he puts “human feelings on hold” when playing.

Nadal said: "This means that when I go out on the golf course with my friends everyday human feelings are put on hold. I have a phrase I use before a game to set the boundary between our enmity on the course and our affection off it.

"I look hard at my golfing pals and say: 'Hostile match, right?' I know they laugh at me behind my back about this, but I am not going to change.

"I am decidedly unfriendly during a golf game, from the first hole to the last. It's true that you don't need the same intensity of concentration as in tennis, where, if your mind wanders for three or four minutes, you can lose three or four games."

"I take my cue from Tiger Woods,” added Rafa. “From start to finish, I barely say a word to my rivals; I certainly don't compliment them on a good shot. They complain, they get angry with me, curse me for my rudeness.

"They say I'm more aggressive even than I am on the tennis court. The difference between me and my friends, some of whom are much better golfers than I am (I have a handicap of 11), is that I just don't see the point of playing a sport unless you're giving it your all."