Harrington, Jimenez and Olazabal named vice-captains

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McGinley takes his vice-captain count up to five by adding experienced trio

Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jiménez and José María Olazábal will complete Paul McGinley’s vice captaincy line-up for The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

McGinley will have five vice captains by his side for the contest against the United States, the trio joining Irishman Des Smyth and Scotland’s Sam Torrance .

As well as all being current players on The European Tour and therefore well known to all 12 players on the European team, which was confirmed at Wentworth Club yesterday afternoon, Harrington, Jiménez and Olazábal will also bring vast Ryder Cup experience to Scotland.

Between them the trio have played in 17 Ryder Cups; Olazábal leading the way with seven appearances between 1987 and 2006, followed by Harrington with six between 1999 and 2010 and Jiménez with four in the same time period.

Olazábal, of course, was the last European captain and guided his charges to the thrilling final day victory at Medinah two years ago. 

Before that, he was vice captain to Sir Nick Faldo in 2008 and Colin Montgomerie in 2010, while Jiménez was vice captain to Seve Ballesteros in 1997 and Olazábal himself in 2012. For Harrington, it will be a first taste of the vice captaincy role.

“I’ve gone for five because I feel an extra person is justified due to the additional workload which comes from being the home team, in addition to how well I saw such a system working when we ended up having five vice captains under Colin Montgomerie at Celtic Manor in 2010,” McGinley said.

“Padraig is my oldest friend on Tour and is a guy I have known most of my life. We went to school together, came through the amateur ranks together and have been together in many contests for both Ireland and Europe over the years, so I know what he can bring to the team room.

Everyone knows how much The Ryder Cup has meant in my career and it’s an occasion that I love being part of “As far as Miguel is concerned, he is someone that the spectators love as well as being very popular with all the players. However he is also a person that I respect very much. I have sat beside him for over a decade on the Tournament Players’ Committee and have seen him exhibit an integrity on many occasions that is very admirable.

“Finally, José María’s passion for The Ryder Cup is recognised the world over. It was obvious in his legendary partnership with Seve and was also so very apparent two years ago at Medinah, so I’m delighted he has accepted my invitation to be involved again, once more maintaining that important continuity.

Harrington said: “I am really looking forward to being part of The Ryder Cup from a different angle to the playing side. That aspect of things is something that really interests me and I’m therefore delighted that Paul has given me the opportunity.

Jiménez said: “When Paul called inviting me to be one of his vice captains at Gleneagles, I immediately said yes. I am really excited to be involved with the European team once again and I’m honoured that Paul has asked me.

“It is going to be an amazing week at Gleneagles. We have a great team and as a vice captain I will give the players and Paul my total support and hope that we can retain The Ryder Cup once again.”

Olazábal said: “Everyone knows how much The Ryder Cup has meant in my career and it’s an occasion that I love being part of. It is a unique and special event – and I know that will be the case once again in Scotland in three weeks’ time.”

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