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Donald hails Olazabal as Ryder Cup captain

ESPN staff
September 17, 2012 « Murray must rediscover major appetite | Chartbeat test »

Luke Donald has backed Jose Maria Olazabal to shine as Europe's Ryder Cup captain as he looks forward to a return to the Medinah course in Chicago, a city close to the world No. 3's heart.

The Ryder Cup is less than a fortnight away and Olazabal will pit his wits against Davis Love III and Donald is convinced the Spaniard has the skills to outwit his US counterpart in an event that is close to his heart.

"He always comes to mind when you think of the Ryder Cup, from a European standpoint," Donald said. "So much passion, so much of that Spanish flair. Obviously his pairing with Seve Ballesteros was probably one of the greatest pairings in Ryder Cup history."

Olazabal has already experienced the satisfaction of aiding the European team when he helped Colin Mongomerie's side defeat the US at Celtic Manor in 2010.

"He came in late as an assistant captain, and really brought a lot to it and said some really good things in the team room," said Donald in an interview with Sky Sports News. "He knows what it's all about, he'll be very prepared."

Donald's own preparations will be guided by warm memories of both the Medinah course and the host city. The Englishman completed a golf scholarship at Northwestern University and was paired with Tiger Woods when the US PGA Championshp was played at the club in 2006.

"I got so much valuable experience from that," Donald admits. "It's a course that I know I can play well around, and I'm excited about the prospect of it not just being in Chicago but Medinah, a place that I am familiar with."

Donald also downplayed fears that the American fans could mar the event by intimidating the visiting team, an accusation made of the hosts in previous editions of the biennial tournament.

"I love the passion that comes with it and I love representing my country and the honour behind that. I've had a great record and been on three winning teams, so hopefully that train continues."

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