Olazabal not worried by US-based stars

Olazabal not worried by US-based stars
By Reuters

01/09/2011 at 01:46Updated 01/09/2011 at 01:52

Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal said he had no problem with some of Europe's leading players starting their bids to make the team in the United States.

Olazabal's line-up next year will comprise five players from a world points table and five from a European one along with two captain's wildcards.

World number two Lee Westwood and major winners Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Martin Kaymer begin their year-long campaigns up the mountain at this week's European Masters.

But world number one Luke Donald and a string of top Europeans start their Ryder Cup trail across the Atlantic in the Fedex Cup.

"It think it's good for them over there, because if you play well over the next three weeks (in America) you might have done part of the job of getting into the Ryder Cup team," Olazabal said on Wednesday.

"I'm sure the Ryder Cup will be at the back of their minds and they'll be trying their socks off for points for that as well."

Olazabal will be overjoyed if Westwood, Clarke, McIlroy and Kaymer all make his team.

"I think you need to have both things in the team, experience and young blood. Lee and Darren know what it's all about so they can pass on their experience to the younger guys. Then the youngsters have no fear in playing aggressively and making a bunch of birdies.

"Rory and Martin have beaten the Americans in majors in their own back yard and they've been there already in the Ryder Cup. That is a fantastic combination."

McIlroy said on Wednesday that he has not yet made his mind up whether he will play for Race to Dubai points or Fedex Cup points, or both next season.

"I don't have any doubts Rory will make the team on both tables and the way he played at the US Open and the Masters -- except for the last nine holes -- show that he has the game to beat anyone," Olazabal said.

"His game is suited for any golf course. He hits it long, he hits it straight; he has the whole package. He has won under pressure against the U.S. players in majors. That will be a great asset to the team."