London – European Ryder Cup skipper Jose Maria Olazabal has named fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez as his fourth vice captain for next month's match against the United States.
Jimenez, 48, will join Dane Thomas Bjorn, Northern Irishman Darren Clarke and Ireland's Paul McGinley as assistant captains at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois from Sept. 28-30.
“Miguel was Seve Ballesteros's right-hand man in the 1997 edition and you know he has a very simple and great philosophy – he always sees the positive side and makes people feel better,” Olazabal said in a news release on Saturday.
“He shares with Thomas, Darren and Paul that passion, commitment and desire to win and like them I know he will encourage everyone in the team room.
“I now have four great friends behind me – four guys I know, four guys I trust and four guys familiar with this contest which is so important because the Ryder Cup is unique,” added Olazabal.
Jimenez helped Ballesteros lead Europe to victory at Valderrama in his native Spain 15 years ago.
The pony-tailed, cigar-puffing Jimenez made his Ryder Cup playing debut in 1999 and also featured in the team in 2004, 2008 and 2010.
On two occasions he was on the winning side including two years ago in Wales when he twice beat Bubba Watson – first in the four-balls with Peter Hanson and then in the last-day singles.
“Fifteen years after being alongside Seve it's great to be vice captain to Jose Maria,” said Jimenez, who has 18 European Tour wins to his name.
“I remember being woken at 3am by Seve for team talks so I hope Jose Maria hasn't got the same thing in mind. Seriously though I would not be telling the truth if I didn't say that I would have liked to have been playing again.
“There is nothing to compare with that but next to that I could not be happier than to be a vice-captain alongside Darren, Thomas and Paul,” added Jimenez.
Europe go into the biennial team event as holders having beaten the United States at Celtic Manor two years ago. – Reuters