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Olazabal brings leadership skills to Royal Trophy

ESPN staff
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Jose Maria Olazabal is hoping to be a winning captain once again in 2012 © Getty Images
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Jose Maria Olazabal is hoping to continue his recent winning record as a captain at this week's Royal Trophy.

The triumphant Ryder Cup leader at Medinah in September has followed in Colin Montgomerie's footsteps and accepted the offer to follow up by captaining the European team at the Royal Trophy, which takes place this week in Brunei.

The team contest - a meeting between Europe and Asia - will this time see Olazabal both captain and play for an eight-man team that includes the likes of Henrik Stenson and Nicolas Colsaerts.

With all players involved at all times, there should be slightly fewer selection headaches for the two-time Masters champion.

"You still need to get your pairings right, but once the first ball is hit there is not so much you can do to influence the outcome of the matches - so I have decided to play a role on the golf course in trying my best to win matches for Europe," Olazabal said.

"The competitive juices flow through me as powerfully as ever and I strongly believe that this is the right strategy.

"I will definitely be drawing on my Ryder Cup experience to make a sound contribution to our European team."

Europe won the last iteration of the event 9-7 in 2011 - claiming seven of eight points in the final singles - but Asia are determined to gain revenge this time around, with a team that includes Ryo Ishikawa, YE Yang and Jeev Milkha Singh.

"It is a fun event, " Singh told Gulf News. "Competition is intense and, after the drubbing we received last time, I know all us Asian players are eager to show the Europeans that we mean business."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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