Questions with The 2012 Ryder Cup Captains: Part Five

5/1/2012 12:00:15 PM
Jose Maria Olazabal and Davis Love III will go head-to-head at Medinah.   (Getty Images)
Jose Maria Olazabal and Davis Love III will go head-to-head at Medinah. (Getty Images)

As this latest Ryder Cup qualification campaign draws to a close, we have the fifth and final instalment in our series of 20 quick-fire questions with Captains José María Olazábal and Davis Love III, as we find out a little more about the men at the Medinah helm.

With two thirds of the US Team having been decided, and the European campaign coming to a close this week at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, we are almost at the end of yet another enthralling Ryder Cup qualification campaign.

After almost two years of tournament play to earn their place on the team, the Americans have already assembled some of the greatest talent in the game, with numerous tournament victors, World Golf Champions and Major winners set to line up for them in Chicago.

The likes of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson have excelled this year, winning both the Masters Tournament and US Open Championship respectively, Keegan Bradley picked up another huge title at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, while the affable Matt Kuchar took Players’ Championship gold.

Captain Love will complete the line-up on September 4, when he will decide on his final four wild card picks, leaving a fortnight for those who just missed out on automatic qualification to make their case for selection.

Meanwhile, this week the European race will culminate once more at Gleneagles, with seemingly just one spot still up for grabs.

After his latest Major Championship success, World Number One Rory McIlroy tops the European Points List, and is assured of his place on the plane to Chicago where he will be joined by WGC-Cadillac Champion, and BMW PGA Championship runner-up, Justin Rose.

Graeme McDowell’s Major form has seen the Ulsterman play his way onto the team for the third time, alongside Qatar Masters Champion and resurgent Scot Paul Lawrie, who returns after a maiden appearance at Brookline in 1999, as well as Reale Seguros Open de España winner Francesco Molinari who qualified two years ago at Celtic Manor.

Meanwhile, on the World Points List there is BMW PGA Champion Luke Donald, Nordea Masters winner Lee Westwood and the ever-consistent Swede, Peter Hanson all assured of their place.

This last week has also seen a major move by Sergio Garcia, who having fallen out of the automatic spots just a week earlier, has bounced straight back in with a win at the rain affected Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour. Thanks to this timely victory, his first since a Spanish double almost a year ago at both the Castelló and Andalucía Masters, he is now assured of his place on the team at sixth on the World Points List.

The final automatic spot is a little less secure however, with Martin Kaymer by no means certain of his spot on the team. The German has struggled for the kind of top form we expect since his maiden World Golf Championships victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions last November, and with him not playing this week, there is a chance he could be replaced.

The man set on doing just that will be Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, who if he were to qualify would be the first Belgian to play in The Ryder Cup, and he needs a top finish at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles if he is to achieve that.

Meanwhile Garcia’s success has seen Ian Poulter fall out of the final automatic spot, and with the Englishman not playing at Gleneagles, he will need to rely on a pick if he is make the team once again.

There are plenty of other names in the mix for those all-important Captain’s Picks though, with Colsaerts, if he wasn’t to qualify, and Poulter, being joined by US PGA surprise David Lynn, Spaniards Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, as well as Germany’s Marcel Siem. All have a strong case for selection, and will find out their fate when José María Olazábal announces his wild cards on Monday August 27.

Whatever happens it promises to be an exciting week, and after Edoardo Molinari’s heroics in winning the final event two years ago to earn his place on the team, there will be plenty of hopefuls playing with similar success in mind.

In the meantime, here is our fifth and final instalment of our ‘Questions with the Captains’ series where we find out a little more about the men hoping to marshal their 12 golfing superstars to glory come September’s end.

Questions with The 2012 Ryder Cup Captains: Part Five – August 21, 2012

José María Olazábal

17)   The people I most admire are... mostly in sport - Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Michael Jordan are right up there, and obviously, Seve.

18)   I dream of... winning The 2012 Ryder Cup

19)   When my team wins The Ryder Cup, we will... the players will make that decision. They are the stars. It is their call.

20)   After The 2012 Ryder Cup I will... go back home and enjoy it with my family and friends.

Davis Love III

17)  The person I admire most... Dad.

18)  I dream of... Robin, big waves, and one putts.

19)  When my team wins The Ryder Cup, we will... thank God for our belssings, and have a great party that our Euro friends will have to crash!!

20)  After The Ryder Cup, I will... take a nap.


Previous quick-fire Captains' Questions

Questions with The 2012 Ryder Cup Captains: Part One – December 19, 2011

José María Olazábal

1)      Where do you like to spend your holidays? At home or in the hills hunting with my father

2)      Hot chocolate or egg nog? Hot chocolate

3)      Favourite family holiday? On September 8 - a Regional Holiday, Día de Asturias - the whole family gets together  for the whole day to celebrate, just eating, drinking and talking. The only exercise  that day is for the jaw!

4)      Sleigh ride or skiing? Neither! I will let others try those things.

Davis Love III

1)    Where do you like to spend the holidays? Ketchum, ID

2)    Hot chocolate or egg nog? HChoc

3)    Favourite family holiday tradition? My mom’s needlepoint Christmas stockings

4)    Sleigh rides or skiing? Snowboarding!


Questions with The 2012 Ryder Cup Captains: Part Two – February 28, 2012

José María Olazábal

5) The mountains or the shoreline? The mountains

6) I always...enjoy a nice meal with friends

7) I never...hurt anyone on purpose

8) When I am not playing golf, I am...either laying on the couch watching sports or going to the cinema

Davis Love III

5)   The Mountains or the Shoreline? Mountains

6)   I always…am undecided

7)   I never…quit

8)   When I am not playing golf, I am…boring


Questions with The 2012 Ryder Cup Captains: Part Three – May 1, 2012

José María Olazábal

9) Chocolate cake or potato chips? Chocolate cake

10) I read…magazines on science

11) I watch…all sports, but also documentaries about nature

12) On my iPod I listen to…pop music, traditional Spanish groups and bands like U2 and Police and singers such as Joe Cocker

Davis Love III

9) Chocolate Cake or Potato Chips? Chips

10) I read…non fiction

11) I watch…racing

12) On my iPod, I listen to…alternative, Christian, country


Questions with The 2012 Ryder Cup Captains: Part Four – July 9, 2012

José María Olazábal

13)   My favourite food is...I love food! I eat fish and meat. I enjoy sushi. Our travelling lifestyle forces you to learn to eat everything!

14)   If I was on a deserted island, I'd want.........good company

15)   One celebrity I'd like to have lunch with is...Nelson Mandela. His history. His life. It's just amazing. To forgive the way he has and to achieve all he has - he is someone to admire and respect.

16)   Wine or beer? Wine

Davis Love III

13)  My favorite food is…BBQ

14)  If I were on a desert island, I’d want…a fly rod

15)  One celebrity I’d like to have lunch with is…Kelly Slater

16)  Wine or Beer? Unsweet Tea