Lefty: Ollie is “such a class act”

Phil Mickelson says the appointment of Jose Maria Olazabal as European captain will be welcomed on both sides of the Atlantic.

Phil Mickelson insists that the appointment of Jose Maria Olazabal as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain will be warmly received on both sides of the Atlantic.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that the Spaniard will lead Europe at Medinah in 2012 as they look to retain the trophy they won at Celtic Manor last October.

World number four Mickelson seems certain to be on the American side to face them in Chicago and feels Europe have made the perfect choice.

“I really like Jose Maria, I don’t think you’ll find a nicer person on tour,” Mickelson told Sky Sports. “He is so enjoyable to be around.

“I’ve been fortunate to be able to spend some time with him throughout the years; obviously he’s in a wonderful player but in addition to that you won’t find a higher-quality individual and I think everybody is excited he’s going to be Ryder Cup captain.

“I know his players are excited, but the US players are excited too because he’s such a class act and a credit to the game.”

Leading European players have also offered the two-time Masters champion a ringing endorsement.

Ian Poulter, who played a leading role at Celtic Manor last October, stated: “I think he’s awesome. If you cut him in half it will say Ryder Cup.

“The passion he’s put into the Ryder Cup over the years with Seve outweighs anybody else.

“Every player that has a potential chance of making that side is going to be pretty excited about playing underneath him.”

Meanwhile, Paul Casey who controversially missed out on a wildcard pick last time around, added: “He’s going to be great, he’s going to be passionate and he’s probably one of the most respected and well-loved players (on the European Tour).”