Last Updated: August 28, 2012 7:41am
Olazabal announces wild cards
European captain Jose Maria Olazabal hailed Ian Poulter's Ryder Cup record after naming him and Nicolas Colsaerts as his two wildcard picks for the clash with the United States next month.
Poulter has won seven of his last eight clashes in the matchplay competition and Olazabal recognised his determination will be key for the encounter at Medinah in Chicago on September 28-30.
"His attitude and spirit in the Ryder Cup team has always been great"
Olazabal on Poulter Quotes of the week
"Everyone of you guessed Ian was going to be there for obvious reasons," Olazabal told the press at Gleneagles on Monday.
"He has a great Ryder Cup record, he was playing well - he had some issues earlier in the season, he got ill and he couldn't play as much - but he is cured and his attitude and spirit in the Ryder Cup team has always been great.
"He likes to be in that situation, it gets the best out of him playing the Ryder Cup."
Colsaerts will become the first Belgian to play in the Ryder Cup - and the only uncapped player in Europe's line-up.
"Nicolas is a rookie, the only rookie in the team, we have an experienced team," Olazabal added. "His matchplay record is very good, he has a very solid season.
"And on top of that he has made the extra effort to try to make the team. He showed me he wanted to be a part of the team.
"I don't think its a gamble. When you look at the next guys on the line, the next guy with Ryder Cup experience would have been Thomas Bjorn.
"I don't think it's going to be a gamble in that regard. The guy has shown a lot of heart, a lot of character. We know that the Ryder Cup atmosphere is different to any regular event, even major events, but I think he's got the game, and the desire and determination to be there has been huge."
Olazabal believes Colsaerts' game will be perfectly suited for the Medinah course.
"Medinah Country Club is a long course," he said. "They built two or three new tees and made 15 a reachable par four. Length can be a factor. At the end of the day we all know the important thing is how many putts you make.
"His game is suited for that golf course. It depends how the golf course is set up regarding rough but it's a long course and I think he can take advantage of that."
The Spaniard admitted it was tough informing the players who had missed out.
"It's never an easy decision," he said. "Obviously there's a few more players in the mix every time. I talked to the vice-captains quite a bit regarding the picks.
"I know he's a great player, I would've loved to have him in the team, the same way I would have loved to have Paul Casey, Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson."
Olazabal on Harrington Quotes of the week
"We studied different possibilities. We had a few discussions regarding that. The last time we talked was on Friday this week.
"It's not an easy moment. They are all disappointed. I know they really wanted to be in the team. I talked to the next four or five guys on the list - I talked to David [Lynn], to Rafa [Cabrera Bello], Alvaro [Quiros] and Padraig [Harrington]. I made those phone calls.
"It's not easy. I've been in that equation. They took the news well. That's the way it is."
Regarding the omission of Harrington, Olazabal said: "I talked to him last night and I was very straight to the point.
"I know he tried hard, he played well at The Masters, he had a good US Open and the following week he had a great Irish Open, but he was 19th on the list, he was just a little down the list.
"I know he's a great player, I would've loved to have him in the team, the same way I would have loved to have Paul Casey, Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson...great players, but you need to be playing good, simple as that. I think he took it well."
There have been concerns over the form of Germany's Martin Kaymer - an automatic qualifier - heading into the event, but Olazabal's mind was put at ease by a chat with the former world number one on Sunday.
"I talked to Martin yesterday," the Spaniard said. "We had a chat on the phone. He's been working really hard the last two weeks after the PGA Championship.
"He's very happy with the work he's put in and the results on the driving range. He's going to play in Holland and Italy and we'll have a pretty good idea on how his game is.
"Don't be mistaken - he wants to be part of that team. He's determined to give his best. He made that point very clear to me yesterday. I don't think I'm going to have any issues regarding Martin."
Butch Harmon says US captain Davis Love III has a wealth of options for his Ryder Cup picks.
Bernard Gallacher believes Jose Maria Olazabal made the right decision in omitting Padraig Harrington from his Ryder Cup side.
Jose Maria Olazabal believes this year's Ryder Cup match is too close to call, but concedes his side will have to be at their best to triumph.