Olly: wild cards must be earned

European Tour

European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal made two things clear on Tuesday.

European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal made two things clear on Tuesday.

He announced that unlike Colin Montgomerie, who used six vice-captains when winning the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in 2010, he will appoint only two this year for Europe’s away battle against the USA at Medinah.

The Spanish two-time Masters winner also warned that he would like to see his 12-man European team made up of Europe’s highest ranked players at the time of the qualifying deadline.

“The ideal situation for me would be to have all the top players in my 12. So for players like Padraig Harrington the ball is still in his court.

“They have to show form,” Olazabal insisted, clearly hoping to avoid a situation like the one in 2010 when Harrington made Montgomerie’s team ahead of some higher ranked players thanks to being the recipient of a somewhat controversial captain’s wild card pick

On the vice-captain issue, Olazabal, one of Montgomerie’s assistants at Celtic Manor, said he believed he would need only two and no more to defend the trophy.

“I know Davis Love will have four assistants but I am having just two,” Olazabal said.

“It’s a lot of headaches if you have more than two.

“I have spoken with Davis and he said to me he will be picking his assistants about 60 days from now, about the beginning of July. But I’m not in any rush, so we’ll just wait and see.”

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