This week both Europe and the USA named their captains for the next Ryder Cup, which will be held at the Medinah Country Club, Illinois.
Europe were the first to announce their successor to Colin Montgomery Europe’s victorious captain at last year’s show down at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales. On Tuesday it was revealed, in what was up until this point one of the worst kept secrets in golf, that Jose Maria Olazabal would be leading the continent in their defence of the trophy they so grippingly won last year by 14 ½ – 13 ½.
The 44 year old Spaniard, twice the winner of the Masters at the Augusta National, was officially announced as captain on Tuesday however it had been known within golfing circles for quite some time that European Tour had wanted him as their captain. Olazabal was approached regarding the role for the 2010 match, however he sighted a need to be playing regularly on tour, which he was not doing at the time, to be able to fully assess Europe’s players.
The seven times Ryder Cup player has in more recent years been suffering from rheumatic pain which at one point stopped him playing golf all together. Since that time he has come back and in recent weeks has signed up to play on the European Tour for the coming weeks.
Olazabal, who made his Ryder Cup debut in 1987, was originally asked to be one of Colin Montgomery’s vice-captains last time around and after originally turning the role down, again due to rheumatic problems, he was eventually coaxed into joining the squad.
This move means both of the captains for the match in at Medinah will have been vice-captains last time out as it was revealed on Thursday that David Love III would be the USA’s captain in Illinois. Love is himself a major winner, having won the 1997 PGA Championship, as well as coming agonisingly close to further major success on three more occasions as he has twice finished second at the Masters, and again finished one off the pace at the US Open.
Love made his Ryder Cup debut in 1993 and but was on the winning side only twice, in 1993 and 1999. However in his first ever match he beat Olazabal 2&1, an omen that the former world number two will hope continues at the 2012 match.
The 2012 Ryder Cup will take place at the Medinah Country Club, Illinois from 28 September and will conclude on 30 September.