Jose Maria Olazabal willing to be captain
More from the Ryder Cup
Europe and the U.S. took very different Ryder Cup directions -- which is why Colin Montgomerie's team won and Corey Pavin's didn't, writes ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski. Story
The Ryder Cup has meant everything to Colin Montgomerie. That's why, as ESPN.com's Bob Harig notes, leading Europe to victory as captain stands as his crowning achievement. Story
• Harig: McDowell seals the win
The first tee, and its unique stadium-like setting, led to a festive atmosphere. ESPN's Rick Reilly spent some time there Monday, soaking it all in. Story
Some made the grade and others came up short at Celtic Manor. ESPN.com's Jason Sobel ranks all 24 players from the 38th Ryder Cup. Story
The Spanish player, who took part in seven Ryder Cups before becoming vice captain for the past two, appears to be the unanimous choice among Europe's leading players to take over from Montgomerie for the 2012 match at Medinah in Chicago.
Olazabal said Tuesday that there would be "only one answer -- yes" if he is healthy and offered the job.
"It's been mentioned, by the players, by Monty. We have talked about it a little bit -- there is just one issue, my health. Time will tell," Olazabal told Sky Sports.
The popular Olazabal was one of Montgomerie's four vice captains as Europe regained the trophy with a dramatic victory against the United States at Celtic Manor in Wales on Monday. He also was an assistant to Nick Faldo at Valhalla two years ago.
But his appearances on tour have been limited in recent years as he battles rheumatoid arthritis.
"You need to be close to the players and play with them during the qualifying process, that is why it [health] is the only question mark," said Olazabal, who has played in only one event this season.
"But I have always said the Ryder Cup is special, it's a unique event, and it's been great to be part of it."
Montgomerie, who confirmed he would be stepping down as captain after writing a new chapter in his illustrious Ryder Cup record, said Olazabal would be "everybody's choice" to succeed him.
"He has a lot of experience -- as much as I have -- and I am sure he will do as good, if not a better, job than I did," Montgomerie said.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington agreed with his departing captain.
"I think he'd be the choice of all the players. He had a great Ryder Cup career. He looks like he'd be a great captain, but it's a tough job," Harrington said.
Darren Clarke, another of Montgomerie's assistants the past two months, ruled himself out of the running for the 2012 captaincy, insisting he wanted to qualify for the team as a player.
"Jose Maria has been battling illness but if he can come back to proper form, then all of Europe and all of this team would welcome him as captain in two years' time," Clarke said.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
MORE GOLF HEADLINES
- Stricker has surgery to alleviate pain in hip
- Atwal rallies to win Dubai Open by 1 shot
- Scott settles on Kerr after caddie tryouts
- Golfer, 103, may be oldest to hit hole in one
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
38TH MATCHES AT CELTIC MANOR
In his career, the Ryder Cup has meant everything to Colin Montgomerie. That's why leading the Europeans to victory Monday as captain stands as a crowning achievement. Bob Harig | Championship CentralDate: Oct. 1-4, 2010
2010 champion: Europe
Course: Celtic Manor Twenty Ten Course
Where: Newport, Wales, United Kingdom
Rosters: United States | Europe