Olazabal Tosses His Hat In The Ring

January 21, 2009

LONDON (AP) -- Jose Maria Olazabal wants to captain Europe at the 2010 Ryder Cup.

The two-time Masters champion, who has played on three winning Ryder Cup teams, had initially said he wanted to play at Celtic Manor next year. But Olazabal has been troubled for several years by rheumatic problems and a foot injury and his game hasn't been in shape.

The European Ryder Cup committee will pick the captain Wednesday in Dubai. The other candidate is Colin Montgomerie, who was left off the European team when the United States won the Ryder Cup at Valhalla last September.

Olazabal's manager, Sergio Gomez, said the Spaniard would accept the job if asked.

"He is available. If he is offered the job he will say 'Yes'," Gomez said. "We know it is a matter of two and there are factors favoring Jose Maria and factors favoring Monty."

Gomez said Olazabal pulled out of the Qatar Masters in Doha this week but hoped to play in next week's Dubai Desert Classic, where the Ryder Cup announcement will be made.

"He had a small problem with his wrists and forearms and it was painful when gripping the club, but not too severe," Gomez said.

Olazabal played only four events on the PGA Tour last year, missing the cut at the Masters and Wachovia Championship.

"The chances of him making the team are not what he wanted or expected," Gomez said, "so he made up his mind that he would accept the captaincy if it was offered."