Jose Maria Olazabal (Getty Images)
José María Olazábal may have been paired with two of his Ryder Cup charges, but the Spaniard insists he is fully focused on his game ahead of the Portugal Masters.
The Ryder Cup Captain is playing for the first time since masterminding the Miracle of Medinah, and has been drawn alongside Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari for the first two rounds.
However, despite the shared memories of Europe’s remarkable triumph in Chicago, Olazábal expects the three to spend little time discussing those events.
“I'm pretty sure that those guys will try to be focused on this week the same way I'm going to try to do the best I can this week,” he said. “We might not say too much about The Ryder Cup, but just with a look in the eyes, I think we pretty much say everything.
“Obviously it was a very special week, one that I will always remember and treasure. First of all, I think we should thank the players. I didn't do much. They were the ones hitting the shots and they deserve all the credit.
“I'm just trying to work a little bit on my game and see if I can get a little bit of the game back and be a little bit more competitive than the last couple of years.
“So that's my target these days. Obviously it's going to take a while. I'm pretty tired at the moment as the last three weeks have been really, really tough. But that's my goal to see if I can regain a little bit of form, and go out there and make a few more birdies than bogeys on the golf course.”
At 46, two-time Masters Tournament winner Olazábal believes he still has much to offer as a player, and is looking to enjoy success on the course for another decade.
“I've seen players like Bernhard [Langer] or some other players, playing well, getting close to their 50s and past their 50s,” he added. “I would love to do that to be honest, but I know it's tough these days.
“The level is very high and it will depend on how well I play, but roughly that's what I'm looking at.”