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Ryder Cup role for Jimenez

Spaniard was Ballesteros' assistant at Valderrama back in 1997

Last Updated: 25/08/12 11:45am

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Miguel Angel Jimenez will be at this year's Ryder Cup after being named as Europe's fourth assistant captain.

The Spaniard, who served as vice-captain to Seve Ballesteros in 1997, joins Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley in helping out Jose Maria Olazabal.

"I now have four great friends behind me - four guys I know, four guys I trust and four guys familiar with this contest, which is so important because the Ryder Cup is unique."
Jose Maria Olazabal Quotes of the week

Jimenez - an 18-time winner on the European Tour - was not originally named at the same time as the other trio by Olazabal, raising the prospect of him being considered for a wild-card pick for the team.

However, the 48-year-old missed the cut at this week's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, the final qualifying event.

"Miguel's announcement means that I now have four world-class golfers as my vice-captains - all with tremendous experience of playing in the Ryder Cup, which is absolutely invaluable," Olazabal said.

"Thomas, Darren and Paul were there with me supporting Colin Montgomerie and Miguel, of course, made a huge contribution to that match, including winning his singles.

"You know he has a very simple and great philosophy - he always sees the positive side and makes people feel better.

"He shares with Thomas, Darren and Paul that passion, commitment and desire to win and like them I know he will encourage everyone in the team room.

"I now have four great friends behind me - four guys I know, four guys I trust and four guys familiar with this contest, which is so important because the Ryder Cup is unique."

Success

Jimenez has appeared in four Ryder Cups as a player, including being part of Colin Montgomerie's successful team at Celtic Manor two years ago.

"I remember being woken at 3am by Seve for team talks, so I hope Jose Maria hasn't got the same thing in mind," the 48-year-old said of his experience of working alongside compatriot Ballesteros at Valderrama.

"Fifteen years after being alongside Seve it's great to be vice-captain to Jose Maria.

"I wouldn't be telling the truth if I didn't say that I would have liked to have been playing again - there is nothing to compare with that in the Ryder Cup - but next to that I couldn't be happier."

Olazabal will announce his two wild card selections to take on the United States on Monday. The Ryder Cup gets underway on September 28 at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois, live on Sky Sports.

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