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Europe captain Luke Donald has named Jose Maria Olazabal as his fourth vice-captain for the upcoming Ryder Cup in Rome.

Olazabal, a legend of the biennial contest, has joined fellow former winning skipper Thomas Bjorn, Edoardo Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts in Donald’s backroom staff.

The two-time Masters champion won 20.5 points across seven Ryder Cup appearances, famously enjoying a formidable partnership with his Spanish compatriot Seve Ballesteros.

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He led Europe to unlikely glory in the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012 and has previously taken up vice-captain roles in 2008, 2012 and 2014.

Olazabal is delighted to be back in the mix for the showdown at Marco Simone Golf Club this September.

“With my previous experiences in the Ryder Cup I am obviously thrilled to be back involved once again,” he said.

“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 was sent out first to get blue on the board early for Europe in that epic singles Sunday in Medinah and will lean on Olazabal’s experience during the clash against the United States.

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“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,” Donald said.

“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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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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