(Reuters) - European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley named Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal as his final vice-captains on Wednesday.
The announcement on the event’s website (www.rydercup.com) completes the five-man vice-captaincy team after Irishman Des Smyth and Scotland’s Sam Torrance were named in March.
“They will all bring valuable insight and experience to the players and the team room,” said McGinley, who leads Europe against the U.S. at Gleneagles, Scotland, from Sept. 26-28.
“I know it’s been common in the past to have three or four vice captains but I’ve gone for five because I feel an extra person is justified due to the additional workload which comes from being the home team.”
Between them the trio have played in 17 Ryder Cups - Olazabal leading the way with seven appearances between 1987 and 2006, Harrington with six (1999-2010) and Jimenez with four in the same time period.
All three also currently play on The European Tour and so are well known to the 12-man European team, which was completed yesterday by McGinley’s wildcard picks - Stephen Gallacher, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.
“Padraig is my oldest friend on Tour and is a guy I have known most of my life,” added McGinley.
”We went to school together, came through the amateur ranks together and have been together in many contests for both Ireland and Europe over the years.
“Miguel is someone the spectators love, as well as being very popular with all the players. However, he is also a person that I respect very much.
“Finally, Jose Maria’s passion for The Ryder Cup is recognized the world over.
”It was obvious in his legendary partnership with Seve (Ballesteros) and was also so very apparent two years ago at Medinah, so I’m delighted he has accepted my invitation to be involved again, once more maintaining that important continuity.”
Europe won what has become known as the “Miracle at Medinah” in 2012 when the team, led by Olazabal, came back from 10-4 down to defeat the U.S. by 14-1/2 points to 13-1/2.
Reporting by Tony Goodson; editing by Ken Ferris