Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Jose Maria Olazabal  (Getty Images)
Jose Maria Olazabal (Getty Images)
Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal is looking forward to making his debut in the ISPS Handa Wales Open but believes his long game needs work if he is to be in contention.

The Spaniard tees up at The Celtic Manor Resort - the venue for the last Ryder Cup - having made six cuts in seven European Tour starts this season.

His sixth-place finish at the Volvo Golf Champions remains his best finish of the season, but the former Masters Tournament champion believes he can better that if his driving improves.

“It’s great to be here,” he said. “It's a big event, a great golf course and the conditions are pretty good.  The course is playing firm and fast.

“Hopefully the weather will stay like this. Obviously I have wonderful memories from two years ago, and I’m looking forward to trying to play some decent golf.

“There are certain areas that I have to improve, but some other areas I'm pretty happy with. It's mainly the driving and the three wood which are getting me down.

“But all I can do is just work at it. I had a great practice session yesterday but that's all I can do. I'll try to go out there on the golf course and see if I can hit more fairways than I usually do and from there on, try to score well.”

Another player looking to turn a string of good results into a win is Olazábal’s compatriot Miguel Angel Jiménez.

The Ryder Cup star, who was part of The European Team which won by a single point in 2010, has had three top-ten finishes this season but has not finished higher than fifth, in the Ballantine's Championship in Korea.

“I've never missed this tournament since I played the first time in 2005 and won,” said Jiménez. “I always come to play here - it's nice a resort, it's a nice golf course.

“The course is in superb condition this year. If the weather stays dry, I think we'll have a nice week here.”

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Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1JAIDEE, ThongchaiTHA18-6
T2STERNE, RichardRSA18-5
T2BJÖRN, ThomasDEN18-5
T2LUITEN, JoostNED18-5
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