Olazabal: Ryder Cup offer not on table

Jose Maria Olazabal insists he has not been invited to become Ryder Cup captain for Celtic Manor in Wales in two years’ time.

Jose Maria Olazabal insists he has not been invited to become Ryder Cup captain for Celtic Manor in Wales in two years’ time.

Thomas Bjorn, chairman of Europe’s players’ committee, did speak to the Spaniard two weeks ago, but after missing the halfway cut at Augusta National Olazabal said: “The job was not offered.

“We just had a little chat – nothing serious. The job was not on the line. That information (the offer of the captaincy) is not completely accurate.”

Olazabal has just returned from seven months out fighting rheumatism in his joints and the speculation was that his health might lead to him taking on the role next time rather than later in his career.

On that, though, he stated: “I’m 42 and if I didn’t think I can play in two years’ time I should not be here.

“If I get healthy I still think I can play some golf. There is no rush. We have a lot of time ahead.”

Sandy Lyle has long declared his interest in being in charge at Celtic Manor and was asked earlier in the day about how he would feel if he was overlooked.

The 50-year-old said: “I have no idea. If it’s happened, it’s happened. I’m not going to lose sleep about it.

“But 2010 would be my last opportunity. I would not accept it in four years’ time – too old.”

The Scot thought the job might go again to Ian Woosnam, captain last time, because of the fact that it is being held on Welsh soil for the first time.

Woosnam, almost certainly through to the last two rounds this week after a fighting 71 for two over, had Lyle as one of his assistants in Ireland and spoke highly of his contribution.

Lyle revealed that he had himself had a “nudge” several months ago to confirm that he was interested in the captaincy for Celtic Manor.

“Of course I’m still interested, but I can’t do much about it. If they don’t select me I’m not going to go around stamping my feet. It’s a nice honour, but things will go on.”

Olazabal was named by Nick Faldo last May as an assistant for September’s match in Kentucky, although he said his priority was to try to play his way onto the team. Then came his long lay-off, though.

Colin Montgomerie appears a certainty for the position when the match goes to Gleneagles in Scotland in 2014 when he will be 51.

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