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Jose Maria Olazabal set to be named Ryder Cup captain

Jose Maria Olazabal is expected to be named as Europe's next Ryder Cup captain next month.

A press conference has been scheduled for January 18 in Abu Dhabi, where the European Tour's four-week Middle East swing begins two days later.

Olazabal might well have led the side at Celtic Manor in October, but hesitated over throwing his hat into the ring and the Tour's tournament committee instead turned to Colin Montgomerie.

Immediately after regaining the trophy in Wales Montgomerie confirmed that he had no intention standing for re-election and gave his support to Olazabal taking over from him for the 2012 match at Medinah in Chicago.

The only problem for the Spaniard, who with Seve Ballesteros formed the most successful partnership in cup history, has been his health. He has been battling rheumatic pains for well over a decade and played only one tournament in the first nine months of this year.

But even if he cannot commit himself to a full schedule next season he is the obvious candidate for the captaincy after serving as Nick Faldo's assistant in Louisville two years ago.