Nick Faldo Nick Faldo eyes McGinley, Olazábal to help lead European Ryder Cup team

European Ryder Cup team captain Nick Faldo has named Paul McGinley and José Maria Olazábal his vice captains for next year's Ryder Cup Matches at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

Should neither player - both Ryder Cup veterans - not make the European squad, they will take their place beside Faldo to help coach the Europeans to a fourth consecutive victory against the United States, Faldo said.

"I've decided to have two Vice Captains Designate," Faldo told reporters. "Two guys that I feel I have good chemistry with. And one is mainly based and playing in America and one is mainly based and playing in Europe. That was very important for me to have good eyes and ears close to the ground, good feedback so we can discuss things and we'll start opening up communication lines with the players. But to have two players of their character and playing stature, I think is very important for me."

Olazábal, 41, has played on seven Ryder Cup teams, having made his debut in 1987, and formed a record partnership with his fellow countryman Seve Ballesteros, winning 11 of their 15 matches together and halving two more. In The 2006 Ryder Cup Matches, Olazábal was unbeaten after teaming up with another Spaniard, Sergio Garcia, at The K Club in Ireland and winning both their matches.

McGinley, 40, has made the last three European Ryder Cup teams and sensationally holed the winning putt in 2002 at The Belfry. He has been on the winning team on all three occasions with the last two victories secured by record margins.

While both players' first priority is to make the 2008 European Ryder Cup team, both will play an important role in the next few months, Faldo said.

"Obviously it's a great feeling but he knows that my intentions are to be part of the team as a player," Olazábal told reporters. "But always it's nice to be named by Nick to help him in any area that he needs me to."

McGinley added: "I've learned a hell of a lot, but I still feel I've got a few more Ryder Cups in me and my first objective is to make the team. That's what I've will be endeavoring to do but I'm obviously thrilled that I'm going to be involved one way or the other and I'm obviously there to help in any way I can."

Next year's Ryder Cup Matches will be held from September 19-21, 2008.

May 23, 2007

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