Seve Trophy should be worth Ryder points - Olazabal

Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:54pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

(Reuters) - Jose Maria Olazabal has called for Ryder Cup qualifying points to be made available at the Seve Trophy in order to entice the top golfers to play in the biennial match between Britain & Ireland and Continental Europe.

Olazabal led Europe to a 15-13 win over Sam Torrance's Britain & Ireland side at St Nom La Breteche on the outskirts of Paris earlier this month but the competition was something of a damp squib.

Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Luke Donald were among several leading players to shun the event and the match attracted small crowds and generated little media attention.

"We all owe something to Seve (Ballesteros)," said Olazabal of the late Spaniard who won five majors in a swashbuckling career that lit up the European Tour. "And it would be really good to see the top players competing.

"I think to make it fit as a legacy to Seve we need to have the really top players playing in it. That would make it a fantastic tournament.

"Maybe they could get points that would count towards Ryder Cup qualification. That would make it more appealing and more interesting.

"It is a team event after all," Olazabal told Reuters in an interview.

The 47-year-old Spaniard, who also led Europe to a remarkable Ryder Cup comeback victory over the United States in Illinois last year, had mixed feelings about the absence of the tour's leading lights at St Nom La Breteche.   Continued...

Spanish golfer Jose Maria Olazabal instructs a child during a golf clinic in La Barganiza, near Oviedo, northern Spain October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso