Olazabal rules out 2014 Europe captaincy
02 Oct 2012 - 15:47:24
Ryder Cup-winning captain Jose Maria Olazabal said Tuesday he would not lead Europe into the next edition in 2014, after steering the team to a famous against-the-odds victory last weekend.
The Spaniard said the tension made it "torture" skippering the side that came back from 10-4 down to pull off an astonishing win by 14 1/2 points to 13 1/2 at Medinah in Illinois.
"I won't do it again," he told a press conference at London Heathrow Airport. "I can assure you that's going to be a no, period.
"(Being captain) is difficult; in a way it's torture.
"It's really tough on your nerves but that's the beauty of the Ryder Cup. It's a huge adrenalin flow and that's what we live for -- the pressure, the tension the adrenalin flow makes us feel alive."
The 46-year-old said there were several other good candidates to lead the team at Gleneagles in Scotland in two years' time.
He named Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn -- three of his vice-captains -- as well as Paul Lawrie, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington as viable contenders.
"There are a lot of players who should have the opportunity to be in my spot," he said.
"It would be unfair of me to just name one for the next Ryder Cup. All of them deserve that position."
Olazabal hailed his team's fightback, which has been widely dubbed the "Miracle of Medinah".
"I don't know if it's a miracle but it's something extraordinary. We haven't seen that before," he said.
"What the players achieved that day was just amazing. It's up to you to decide if it's the greatest moment or the greatest comeback in history but they (the players) deserve all the credit," he told reporters.
"We have this wonderful trophy here with us because of the huge achievement of those 12 men. They didn't stop believing and the performance they showed on Sunday was just incredible."
Olazabal has been deluged with messages of congratulation from the likes of tennis star Rafael Nadal and Spain's King Juan Carlos.
"He (King Juan Carlos) was, like me, pretty much over the moon," said Olazabal. "That was a nice one."
The Spaniard was even able to take world number one Rory McIlroy's muddled time-keeping in his stride.
Thinking that his match with Keegan Bradley started at 12:25 pm instead of 11:25 am, McIlroy was still at the team hotel when he got a panicked phone call telling him he had 25 minutes to get to the first tee.
The Northern Irishman had read the tee times on his phone in Eastern Standard Time, while Medinah operates on Central Time, and he was given a police escort to the course by state trooper Pat Rollins.
Olazabal added: "Luckily enough a police car was there and he made it on time. It was no surprise at all he managed to win his point."
Rollins told Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper he had received some ribbing from friends for his part in the United States' defeat.
"They jokingly said if I hadn't, the USA would have won the Ryder Cup," he said. "But the Ryder Cup should be settled on the course, not in traffic.
"We would have done the same for any American or European player, though I must admit it was extra special that he is the world number one. I'm a big golf fan and I knew who he was. It was a great event, an exciting event.
"I'm just glad I could play my small part."