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Jose Maria Olazabal denies Ryder Cup claim

Jose Maria Olazabal denied on Wednesday that he had agreed to be a 2010 Ryder Cup vice-captain if he fails to make the team.

His comments contradicted Europe skipper Colin Montgomerie’s remarks last week in which he said the Spaniard had promised to be his right-hand man at Celtic Manor next year if he did not manage to play his way into the team.

Twice U.S. Masters winner Olazabal said he had made no decision yet and that he had made his position clear to the Briton in a chat during the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year.

“My words to him were that I wanted to try to make the effort to get into the team as a player and if that was not the case we would have to have (another) little chat in the next year sometime,” Olazabal told an Andalucia Open news conference in Seville.

“I’m not certain about anything. That’s my position still.

“Maybe my English is not good. But have I made myself clear now? Have I expressed myself properly?”

The 43-year-old Olazabal was Nick Faldo’s vice-captain in Europe’s defeat at Valhalla, Kentucky last year, and did not seem keen on the idea of serving a second term in the role.

“If I made any promise then it is news to me. I’ve done it once (been vice-captain) and there’s not much to do. There aren’t enough decisions to make, so that’s why I’m not sure,” he said.

Montgomerie was surprised by Olazabal’s comments.

“I had a chat with Jose Maria in Dubai and we had a conversation that Jose Maria will be involved in the Ryder Cup one way or another,” he said.

“I (told him I) would like him first and foremost to play his way on to the team because I think the passion he brings to a Ryder Cup is second to none.

“I said I’d love him to be playing on the team but if not, he will be in an administrative role—which will be vice-captain. I have had that conversation.”

Olazabal is continuing his bid to recover from rheumatism, mainly in his shoulders, and is in Seville to gauge whether he is going to be fit enough to play in next month’s U.S. Masters.


March 26, 2009

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