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Three Vice-Captains Named to 2012 European Ryder Cup Team
European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal has named Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley as three of his four vice-captains for the 2012 Ryder Cup Matches, which will be held in late September at Medinah Country Club near Chicago.
In a statement Olazabal said, "My own experiences as a vice captain in 2008 and 2010 taught me that you need a lot of help that week." The Spaniard will announce his final vice-captain along with his two wild-card players for the 12-man team on August 27.
"You need eyes, extra eyes to follow the players in the practice rounds to gather as much information as you can about how everyone is playing," added Olazabal, who's seeking to retain the cup which the Europeans won in 2010 at Celtic Manor in Wales. "Then it is important to have each match watched because you have to hand in your pairings for the afternoon matches when the players are still out on the course."
His three vice-captains have considerable experience in the biennial competition. Bjorn, the first-ever Dane named to the team, was a member of victorious European teams in 1997 and 2002, while Ireland's McGinley and Clarke were on the winning sides in 2002, '04 and '06. Clarke, who was also on the winning team in 1997 and losing side two years later, was a non-playing vice-captain at Celtic Manor along with McGinley.
"Make no mistake, this is a very strong backroom team because we have been there before and done it before," said Clarke, the 2011 winner of the British Open. "We'll be seeking to use our experience to recreate that terrific team spirit and bonding that has made the European team room such a special place to be for so many years."
The Europeans have been an extended hot streak, winning nine of the past 16 Ryder Cups, but the Americans lead the overall series - first played in 1927 - 25-11.
"This Ryder Cup, like so many in the past, will come down to who shows the most character under pressure. It is certain to be close but I am confident we have the players to bring the Cup back home with us," added Olazabal, whose 10 automatic players will be known at the end of the Johnnie Walker Championship on August 26.
U.S. captain Davis Love III has already chosen Fred Couples, Mike Hulbert, Jeff Sluman and Scott Verplank as his vice-captains, with his first eight automatic players being Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar. Love will name his four wild card picks September 4.
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