Jose Maria Olazabal kept his cards close to his chest after opening practice at Medinah
Last Updated: September 26, 2012 3:13pm
Jose Maria Olazabal: Unwilling to discuss pairings
Jose Maria Olazabal would not be drawn on possible Ryder Cup pairings after the first day of practice at Medinah.
Tuesday's fourballs saw Paul Lawrie tee up with Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, while an all-English quartet saw Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter go out together.
"That's where we do have four different nationalities, young guys and we are trying to just figure out certain things still."
Jose Maria Olazabal
That left Francesco Molinari, Peter Hanson and Martin Kaymer, all of whom were debutants at Celtic Manor, with Belgian newcomer Nicolas Colsaerts.
However, the European captain insisted the groups meant little at this stage.
"I'm not going to talk about pairings, seriously," he said. "We have quite a lot of players that have done well in the past and then I've tried to mix a little bit of guys I believe can complement each other and who understand each other really well.
"That's why I put Paul Lawrie with the Northern Irish guys and Sergio because Sergio is a guy that gets close to everyone. He can play with anyone."
As for Kaymer, Colsaerts, Hanson and Molinari, he added: "That's where we do have four different nationalities, young guys and we are trying to just figure out certain things still."
With two caps McDowell is not sure he has a senior role to play, but Olazabal said: "He is one of our main men, to be honest.
"He plays with a lot of heart and loves this competition. Those are elements that are crucial and essential to this tournament.
"He will fight until the very end, for every shot, for every inch."
Olazabal said he was delighted to see McIlroy in such good form coming into the event.
"Obviously we have the world number one, he's playing great," he said. "Even though he didn't win the FedEx Cup (despite winning two of the four play-off events), the way he's played the last few months, he's been outstanding.
"I would say that he is at this moment very close to how good Tiger was at that stretch of time between 1999 and 2002, the way he's playing. He's full of confidence.
"He's got the whole game and in that regard it's great to have players like that on your team."