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Olzabal Breaks Hand, Leaves Open

June 18, 1999

PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) _ Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, angry after a poor opening round at the U.S. Open, was forced to withdraw today when he broke his right hand by punching a hotel wall.

Olazabal, who shot 75 on Thursday, arrived at the course with a splint on his hand. He took a few swings on the practice range but realized he wouldn’t be able to play the second round.

The Spaniard left Pinehurst before his noon tee time with Tom Lehman and Nick Price.

``I punched a wall in my hotel,″ said Olazabal, who broke his hand Thursday night. ``I was upset with myself. I wanted to do well this week. After the way I played yesterday, I did something I should not have. Now, I’m paying the price.″

The withdrawal ended any chance he had of becoming the first golfer since Jack Nicklaus in 1972 to win both the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year.

Olazabal broke the fifth metacarpal on his right hand and will be out for three to four weeks. That casts doubt on his ability to play in the British Open at Carnoustie July 15-18.

``Fortunately, it is a clean fracture,″ Olazabal said.

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