Olazabal steps down as Europe's Ryder Cup captain

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal won the Ryder Cup three times as a player.

Story highlights

  • Jose Maria Olazabal will not continue as Europe's Ryder Cup captain
  • The Spaniard led Europe to a 14½ - 13½ victory over the U.S. in Illinois
  • Paul McGinley, one of Olazabal's vice captains, is the early favorite for the role in 2014
  • Olazabal received a congratulatory phone call from the King of Spain

Jose Maria Olazabal has confirmed he will not continue in his role as Europe's Ryder Cup captain after the weekend's memorable win over the United States.

Europe retained the prestigious trophy by beating Davis Love III's team 14½ - 13½ at the Medinah Country Club, despite having trailed by four points heading into Sunday's singles matches.

But after helping Europe keep hold of the cup it won in 2010, Spain's Olazabal believes it is time to for another captain to take charge.

"First of all it is a lot of work," the two-time major winner told a news conference.

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"It takes a lot from you you during the stretch of time from when you are named captain to the actual playing of the Ryder Cup.

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"On top of that there are a lot of players who should have the opportunity to be in my spot ... clearly I won't do it again."

    Olazabal would be happy to offer advice to his successor, although he says he will also not force himself on the next incumbent -- with Irishman Paul McGinley, a vice-captain in Illinois, the early favorite to replace the Spaniard.

    "The captain has to decide what he wants," added the 46-year-old Olazabal. "If he wants to reach out to me, fine. But I'm not going to be in there, I'm going to be just on the side.

    "I think this is a one-time chance. I had my chance and now I will step back, try to concentrate on my game and leave the next captain to do his job."

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    Olazabal also revealed how Europe's triumph -- dubbed the "Miracle of Medinah" -- has prompted congratulatory messages from Spanish royalty and the nation's top sports stars.

    "The King of Spain called me a few minutes ago and was pretty much over the moon, like me," he said. "There have been messages from sports guys like [tennis player Rafael] Nadal and lots from friends and family."

    Europe's challenge could have been derailed before it got off the ground when world No. 1 Rory McIlroy arrived at the golf course late on Sunday. The two-time major winner was confused over which time zone he was in.

    Luckily for Olazabal, the Northern Irishman was driven to Medinah by a state trooper and was able to win his match with U.S. rookie Keegan Bradley.

    "Obviously, we were a little concerned but we knew at 11:05 he was going to make it to the tee with no problems. That's why I was not all that tense," said Olazabal.

    "Luckily enough a police car was there and he made it on time. It was no surprise at all he managed to win his point."

    Olazabal was also asked to select his highlight of the weekend, opting for Ian Poulter's fifth consecutive birdie on the 18th hole of Saturday's fourballs to give Europe a vital point.

    "It's hard to just pick one but I think the putt Poulter made on 18 on Saturday afternoon was huge. We all knew how important that was. If that didn't happen I don't think we'd have had a chance to win. It was crucial."