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Olazabal is the perfect choice

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Rob Hodgetts | 09:34 UK time, Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Jose Maria Olazabal was the obvious choice to succeed Colin Montgomerie as Ryder Cup captain after the Scot stood down following the victory over the United States at Celtic Manor in October.

The 44-year-old Spaniard, who will be 46 when the Ryder Cup is next staged at Medinah Country Club in Chicago in 2012, was next in line and by far the most deserving of contenders, receiving the backing of Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington in the immediate aftermath of the win in Wales.

Olazabal, known as "Ollie", played in seven Ryder Cups between 1987 and 2006. He was also assistant captain to Nick Faldo at Valhalla in 2008 and was poached from a corporate role to help Montgomerie's campaign during Ryder Cup week, having earlier given indications he was not keen to be a vice-captain again.

Olazabal will be forever remembered in Ryder Cup annals as one half of the "Spanish Armada". He teamed up with the great Severiano Ballesteros to win a record 11 matches in their 15 Ryder Cup games together between 1987 and 1993. Olazabal's overall Ryder Cup record is 18 wins, five halves and eight losses.

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