Olazabal would be willing to accept Ryder captaincy - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Olazabal would be willing to accept Ryder captaincy

Colin Montgomerie remains the favourite to be appointed as the next Europe Ryder Cup captain, despite last night's revelation that Jose Maria Olazabal would accept the Celtic Manor job if offered.

The surprise statement from the Spaniard's camp will almost certainly be viewed as having come too late when the European Tour players committee convenes in Dubai next Wednesday to vote on Nick Faldo's successor. An announcement is due to be made straight after the meeting and it is the worst-kept secret in golf that Montgomerie has already been primed to take the role.

Even Sergio Gomez, Olazabal's long-standing manager, accepts that his man is now the outsider in what some will take to be a two-horse race. "I don't believe Jose will get it because we all know there are powerful reasons why Monty cannot do it in America in 2012, given his relationship with the US crowds," he said.

Yet Gomez is adamant that, if asked, Olazabal would step up and seemingly perform a dramatic U-turn: "If he is offered the job, he will say 'Yes'. Why has Jose changed his mind? He hasn't. He has just made up his mind."

Olazabal's credentials are unquestionable. As assistant captain, the 42-year-old was one of the few bright points to emerge from the Faldo fiasco in Kentucky in September and afterwards he was urged to be captain in Newport. But he told members of the team – including Sergio Garcia, who last week said he had spoken several times on the phone to his countryman – that he still harboured hopes of making the team as a player.

Gomez, however, revealed that after pulling out of this week's Qatar Masters with a recurrence of the rheumatism that has plagued him over the last year, Olazabal realised his goal was unrealistic. "The chances of him making the team are not what he wanted or expected," he explained. "So he made up his mind that he would accept the captaincy if it was offered."

That, however, is unlikely and not just because of Montgomerie's relationship with the American galleries. It would be deeply embarrassing for both Monty and the tour if a candidate who had been persuaded to put himself forward was overlooked, just because the original first choice suddenly decided he was available. The best way out of it would be to make a joint announcement next week and to name Montgomerie for 2010 and Olazabal for 2012.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago