The 55-year-old Spaniard, who won at Augusta National in 1994 and 1999, added a second round of 71 to his opening 75 for a halfway total of two over par.
The 2012 Ryder Cup Captain was playing competitively for the first time since the last Masters and carded just his third under par round at this event since he finished in the top three 15 years ago.
That run has had more to do with injury than form for one of the European Tour's all-time greats, and Olazábal admitted teeing it up on the weekend again will be special at Augusta.
“It’s like winning the event,” he said. “I have to say that I enjoyed the two days. Obviously because I hit the ball better, but because of the conditions on the golf course.
“It’s lovely to see Augusta play like we have the last two days, fast and firm. It reminds me a lot of the late 80s and 90s.
“And I felt great. I felt relaxed. It’s true that I had a little hiccup on three and four at the beginning of the round, but I played pretty solid all day long. I missed, I would say, maybe two, three shots really bad, but the rest were OK.
“It’s been really special these last two days for me."