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Spaniards continue Ryder Cup war of words

Jose Maria Olazabal reacted with dignity on Thursday as the Ryder Cup slanging match raged on.

"They can say whatever they want to say about us being bad losers," said the Spaniard in reply to a jibe by United States team member Davis Love.

"But the bottom line is that the world will be their judges. The world saw how they behaved.~

The U.S. Masters champion, speaking after heavy rain washed out a full day's play in the opening round of the German Masters, had to wait on the 17th green for several minutes at Brookline last Sunday while jubilant American team members mobbed his opponent Justin Leonard after he sank what turned out to be the match-winning putt.

"We were playing for pride and honour. We try to respect our opponents and all we ask is respect from them.

"They should not be continuing to fuel the situation. This has happened before in 1991 at Kiawah Island."

Olazabal's compatriot and team mate Miguel Angel Jimenez was more outspoken and even maintained he would not want to play in future Ruder Cup matches if the unseemly behaviour of last Sunday were to continue.

Jimenez said: "They wanted to win at all costs and the cost was their dignity and any respect we might feel for them.

"I don't feel like we lost the match, because they didn't deserve it after what happened on the final day.

"If the Ryder Cup has to be like this in the future -- with players acting like professional ice hockey or football players instead of golfers -- then I don't want to play in it any more."

Jimenez then referred to the pre-match controversy involving the Americans over whether they should be paid for playing. "Thanks be to God we were only playing for pride and not money or it might even have got to blows," he said.