Imagine Golf Blogs

Olazabal in pole position

Spaniard favourite for Ryder Cup captaincy

Posted Dec 17, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Jose Maria Olazabal

The European Ryder Cup team will have a new captain in 2012 and with Colin Montgomerie having done a splendid job in October as they beat the US, whoever takes on the job will have a tough act to follow.
The European Tour is in the throws of making the decision at the moment and the overwhelming favourite to step into the breach in Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal. The new skipper will be announced on January 18th next year at a press conference.
Olazabal is a popular player and has been part of nine Ryder Cups, seven as a participant and two as a captain. His wealth of experience will leave the tournament committee making the decision with no qualms that he is up to the job.
And I believe that the players will respond well to him, as they did to Monty. Olly was assistant to Nick Faldo in 2008 and Monty in 2010 and had initially been in the running for the full job this year but hesitated over making himself available.
The only real doubt over the Spaniard’s suitability to the role is his long-running battle with rheumatic pain, a condition that saw him play in just one tournament in the first nine months of this year. However, he appears to have given the health assurances the Tour desires and it is believed he will be confirmed at that media conference.
Olazabal is quite a character in the sport and is well respected on both the European Tour and the PGA Tour over in the States. He will be a formidable captain and he understands the importance and the romance that surrounds the competition.
He also has his place embedded in the history of the tournament as part of the most successful ever partnership, an honour he shares with the great Seve Ballasteros.
I for one would be delighted to see him take over the European reigns in 2012 and could be just the man to lead the players into the lion’s den in the States as the European team look to retain the trophy they won so brilliantly this year.

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