European Captain José María Olazábal has named Miguel Angel Jiménez as his fourth Vice Captain for The 2012 Ryder Cup match against the United States at Medinah Country Club, Chicago, Illinois, from September 28-30.
Jiménez will join Thomas Björn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley in an accomplished and knowledgeable ‘Backroom Team’ – the four Vice Captains have between them played in 14 Ryder Cups with no fewer than 11 wins to their credit.
Olazábal, who played in seven Ryder Cup matches between 1987 and 2006 and was a Vice Captain in 2008 and 2010, said: “Miguel’s announcement means that I now have four world class golfers as my Vice Captains – all with tremendous experience of playing in The Ryder Cup which is absolutely invaluable.
“Thomas, Darren and Paul were there with me supporting Colin Montgomerie in 2010 when we regained the Cup and Miguel, of course, made a huge contribution to that match including winning his singles.
“Miguel was Seve’s right hand man in 1997 and you know he has a very simple and great philosophy – he always sees the positive side and makes people feel better.
“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.”
Jiménez was Vice Captain to Seve Ballesteros when Europe won at Valderrama in his native Spain in 1997 and he made his playing debut in 1999. He also played in 2004, 2008 and 2010 and on two occasions finished on the winning side including two years ago in Wales when he twice beat 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson – first in the fourballs with Peter Hanson and then 4 & 3 in the singles. He has won four and halved three of his 15 matches. Jiménez has 18 European Tour wins and in all 21 worldwide.
Jiménez said: “Fifteen years after being alongside Seve, it’s great to be Vice Captain to José María. I remember being woken at 3am by Seve for team talks so I hope José María hasn’t got the same thing in mind! Seriously, 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 in The Ryder Cup – but next to that I could not be happier than to be a Vice Captain alongside Darren, Thomas and Paul.”