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Olazabal to lead Europe in Ryder Cup

When Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal faced each other in the final of the British amateur championship 27 years ago nobody could be sure they were looking at two future Ryder Cup captains.

Everything now looks in place for Olazabal — an easy winner at Formby that day — to be named today as the Scot's successor.

The 44-year-old Spaniard has been the only name mentioned for next year's defence of the trophy in Chicago.

Despite his continuing battle with rheumatism — he played only three events last year — Olazabal's character and standing in the game all point to him being an outstanding leader of the side.

“He is an honourable, incredible man, I haven't heard one person who wouldn't love to see him as captain,” said European Tour chief executive George O'Grady.

Winner of seven caps as a player, Olazabal made his debut at Muirfield Village in 1987 alongside compatriot Seve Ballesteros.

Unexpectedly, the European captain is set to be announced before the American one.

Davis Love was linked with the job before Christmas, but there has been no official confirmation.

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