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Olazabal named European Ryder captain

Olazabal named European Ryder captain
Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal, shown in a 2007 file photo, has been selected the captain for the European team for the 2012 Ryder Cup. (UPI Photo/Pat Benic) | License Photo

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal was selected the captain of the European Ryder Cup team for the 2012 competition in the United States.

Olazabal, 44, is a two-time Masters champion and won 30 tournaments in his professional career. He was a member of the 1987 Ryder Cup team that was the first European team to win on a U.S. course.

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Olazabal teamed with countryman Seve Ballesteros for an 11-2-2 record, the best Ryder Cup record for any pair of golfers.

"The two Masters wins at Augusta National are the highlight of my playing career but this is my proudest moment," Olazabal said Tuesday at a tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

"Golf has been my life and representing Europe in The Ryder Cup has given me so much enjoyment. So to be named the European Ryder Cup captain is something very special and I am looking forward to the next 20 months before we reach Medinah."

The 2012 Ryder Cup is to be contested Sept. 28-30 at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago.

The PGA of America has a news conference scheduled for Thursday when it is expected to announce who will be the captain of the U.S. team. David Love II is thought to be the front-runner for the post.

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Europe, which won the 2010 Ryder Cup, is 8-7-1 in the competition. The United States, which won in 2008, is 25-11-2.

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