JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL has been tipped to succeed Colin Montgomerie as European Ryder Cup captain by Monty himself.
“He did brilliantly as one of my assistants here,” Montgomerie said of the Spaniard, “and it was also only right that we had a picture of him and Seve (Ballesteros) in our team room and then at the closing ceremony. It was between him and me for the captaincy this time and in two years’ time he’ll be 46, just a year younger than I am now.”
Olazabal was part of the best partnership in Ryder Cup history with Ballesteros- winning thirteen of fifteen matches together. Rheumatism has provoked an extended layoff for Olazabal, and he says that any captaincy would hinge on his health.
“I would love to do it,” he said. “It all depends on my physical situation, but it’s much better than it was a few months ago.”
Another potential candidate for the European captaincy in Chicago in two years time include another of the vice-captains- Ireland’s Paul McGinley. McGinley, though, added his backing for Olazabal.
“It would be great if the honour comes my way, but I hope Olly will be next,” he said. “Fingers crossed for him.”