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Olazabal left wondering what might have been

Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal holed a 30-foot putt at the first hole of the German Masters pro-am event on Wednesday and then said: "What I wouldn't have given for that on Sunday at the 17th!"

Olazabal missed a similar putt at the penultimate hole of his singles match with Justin Leonard at the weekend to dash Europe's chances of retaining the Ryder Cup.

That miss came shortly after the green had to be cleared of American players and wives who had begun celebrating in front of him even though the Spaniard still had a chance to win.

Olazabal was still unhappy about those scenes which marred the narrow U.S. victory at Brookline.

The 33-year-old, in Germany to take on defending champion Colin Montgomerie as well as fellow major champions Fred Couples, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh, said: "There is nothing in losing a Ryder Cup because that's happened before.

"What was different this time was the behaviour of the crowds -- and the players. That should not have happened at the 17th, a very sad point in the match.

"I'll never know how it affected me because it was still a tough putt. But it certainly wasn't any easier after all that happened. The U.S, won the Ryder Cup and, obviously, it was very sad to go so close but so far with such a young team.

"But, win or lose, there were things that happened out there that shouldn't have happened. It all got out of hand."

Olazabal also had words of comfort for Scot Montgomerie, who was the target of barracking at Brookline.

"I don't know why they pick on him. I just know the problem is with the crowds and not Monty," he said. "They are the ones who have to do the behaving."


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