Heroes of Medinah Portugal-bound

10/1/2012 11:51:04 AM
European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal poses with Martin Kaymer  (Getty Images)
European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal poses with Martin Kaymer (Getty Images)
Victorious European Ryder Cup Captain José Maria Olazábal and two of the playing heroes of Medinah – Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari of Italy - will add a sense of Ryder Cup fever to the Portugal Masters at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course at Vilamoura next week.

Olazábal, who led Europe to a sensational 14 ½ - 13 ½  triumph over the United States at Medinah Country Club in Illinois, is joined in the field for the sixth edition of the Portugal Masters by  Kaymer, the man who ensured The Ryder Cup stays in European hands, and Molinari, who claimed the deciding half point.

Also competing in the €2,250,000 tournament are the four experienced Vice-Captains who gave Olazábal the benefit of their accumulated wisdom – Dane Thomas Björn, Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, Miguel Angel Jiménez of Spain and Irishman Paul McGinley.

With the whole of the European Continent still buzzing with excitement over Europe’s fabulous victory over the Americans, the Portugal Masters, from Thursday the 11th to Sunday the 14th, is likely to be caught up in the joyous celebrations.

Olazábal helped to inspire the greatest comeback in European history as his team overturned a 10-6 deficit on Saturday to secure victory, and the men who put the finishing touches to an unforgettable day in Chicago will join forces with ‘Olly’ on the lush fairways of Oceânico Victoria Golf Course.

Kaymer defeated Steve Stricker on the final green to guarantee Europe at least a halved match, before Molinari extracted a measure of revenge for his 2010 singles loss to Tiger Woods by securing the vital half point needed for overall victory.

To keep the Ryder Cup theme going, several former members of European Teams will also be in the star-studded field, including successful 2010 Captain Colin Montgomerie and two of his side, Ross Fisher and Edoardo Molinari.

Also in the field will be Ireland’s three-time Major Champion Padraig Harrington, who experienced four wins from six Ryder Cups; Frenchman Thomas Levet, who played in the victorious 2004 side under Bernhard Langer, and some notable other winners in Niclas Fasth, Ignacio Garrido, David Howell, Phillip Price and Henrik Stenson.

Peter Adams, Championship Director for the Portugal Masters, said: “Yesterday’s incredible win sent a wave of excitement throughout European golf and we are delighted that ‘Captain Olly’ and  other high profile Ryder Cup stars will be in Vilamoura next week. We are sure they will all receive a rousing reception from the spectators who can both celebrate a wonderful win for the European Team and enjoy world class golf at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course.”