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Captaincy is pure hell, warns Jose

"WANTED: Someone prepared to go through hell and torture and feel utterly helpless as his reputation hinges on the odd putt. Must be good with numbers."

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL'S experience at the nerve-shredding event quaintly now referred to as 'The Miracle of Medinah' should act as a warning to all those wishing to apply for the job as Europe captain. The race to lead the Ryder Cup defence at Gleneagles in two years' time starts now.

But on listening to Olazábal yesterday, one wondered whether the likes of Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke and Paul Lawrie would be wiser to leg it in the other direction.

Olazábal could be found at the hotel after a night without sleep. It was not alcohol consumption that kept him up - two glasses of red, one gin and tonic - but the remarkable events of Sunday replaying in his mind.

He grimaced as he recalled the wildly contrasting emotions as Europe launched the greatest fightback in Ryder Cup history to win their fifth match from the last six.

"It was hell, it was torture," said Olazábal. "As captain, it's all on you but can't do anything about it, you don't hit the shots, you don't have any control on the outcome. One minute you're thinking 'that's it, it's over' and the next minute it's 'hang about we still have a chance'. It's hell."

McGinley is favourite to get the vote, which takes place in Dubai next January along with Darren Clarke, Paul Lawrie and Thomas Bjorn. Not only does he have all the attributes to be a great leader but he is blessed with the knowledge that in the Ryder Cup there is no such thing as a great leader.

"The thing I've learned about captaincy is nothing is definitive. There's no one right way and no one wrong way. You do what's logical but logic might not work.

"The first morning we were very logical, didn't work. But then all the stars lined up for us and our dreams came true," said Olazábal.

And it's hell and it's torture. Olazábal would confirm it's the implausible job.


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