02 August 2023

Jose Maria Olazabal named as Luke Donald’s fourth vice-captain for Ryder Cup

02 August 2023

Europe captain Luke Donald has named former skipper Jose Maria Olazabal as his fourth vice-captain for this year’s Ryder Cup in Rome.

Olazabal enjoyed a stellar playing career in the biennial contest against the United States before leading his side to victory in the famous ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012.

The 57-year-old won a total of 20.5 points in his seven appearances, with 12 of those coming from 15 matches in partnership with fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros.

Olazabal, who was also vice-captain in 2008, 2010 and 2014, joins Thomas Bjorn, Edoardo Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts in Donald’s backroom team.

The two-time Masters champion said: “With my previous experiences in the Ryder Cup I am obviously thrilled to be back involved once again.

“I am really looking forward to feeling that special adrenaline flow, the intensity and the electricity that only the Ryder Cup can bring.

“It was a very nice surprise to be asked by Luke. I didn’t expect it, but I was delighted when the call came.

“I have no doubts that Luke will be a great captain. He has played in the Ryder Cup four times and won four times and he therefore knows what is required to perform well in the match.”

Donald, who was sent out first by Olazabal in the Sunday singles at Medinah, said: “To know he had that respect and confidence in me to go out and lead Europe in such a pressurised last-day environment meant a lot and this feels, perhaps, that I am returning that favour a little bit, as I have a huge amount of confidence in him.

“Just his mere presence brings energy to any Ryder Cup environment and I saw that first hand when I asked him to be involved in the Hero Cup we staged in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of this year.

“He was such a big part of that week, being with the players and sharing stories with them of just what the Ryder Cup is all about.

“People notice when Jose Maria walks into a room and you could see at the Hero Cup how much everyone respected him and admired him for all he’s done in the game. I could not be more excited to have him on my team.”

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