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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 06:44 GMT 07:44 UK
Olazabal puts Ryder spot at risk
Jose Maria Olazabal
Olazabal is ranked 16th in the world and tied for third at Augusta
Jose Maria Olazabal has defended his decision to miss this week's BMW International Open despite the fact it could cost him a Ryder Cup place.

He currently qualifies thanks to his fifth place in the rankings-based list but could be bumped down if Paul Casey or Colin Montgomerie do well in Munich.

"I'm tired. I've tried hard and I need a rest," said the Spaniard.

"If I went, I'd only have one week off before the match. There's no point me getting to the Ryder Cup like that."

Depending on how results go, the two-time Masters champion may even need a wildcard to make his first appearance in the biennial competition since 1999.

"If I don't keep my place on the team, it will hurt a lot. If I don't get a wildcard it will hurt even more," the 40-year-old said.

"Yes, it now depends what others do, but I think I have done my job even though I'm not certain of a place.

"I hold my head up because I've never given up. I fought all the way."

Montgomerie would knock Olazabal out of fifth in the world list if he finishes 49th or better on Sunday and Paul Casey would do it if he is first or second.

I would assume [Olazabal] thinks he's in - but I would go

Padraig Harrington
If they don't, the Spaniard is safe, but if they do, then he goes into the 10th and last automatic spot based on European earnings.

That would give Paul Broadhurst, Johan Edfors and John Bickerton the chance to oust him.

Broadhurst would need to finish in the top three, Edfors first or second and Bickerton first.

At ninth in the current standings, Paul McGinley has a reason to cheer for Montgomerie and Casey because if one of them gets past Olazabal, his hopes are that much better.

Otherwise the Irishman is the one most under threat from Broadhurst, Edfors and Bickerton.

Padraig Harrington, who is eighth and also not quite safe yet, said of Olazabal: "He's old enough and bold enough to make his own decisions.

"I would assume he thinks he's in - but I would go."

Olazabal appeared in six straight Ryder Cups between 1987 and 1999, winning 17.5 points out of a possible 28.

This year's Ryder Cup is at the K Club in County Kildare, Ireland, from 22-24 September.

SEE ALSO
K Club calling
21 Aug 06 |  Golf
European & US rankings
27 Jun 06 |  Golf


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