José María Olazábal hoping to inspire next generation of stars at Hero Cup

DP World Tour legend José María Olazábal is set to led a helping hand at this week’s Hero Cup after European Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald called on the two-time Masters Tournament champion to inspire the next generation of European talent.

The Spaniard is no stranger to success in team events having tasted victory on two occasions at the Seve Trophy and four times at The Ryder Cup, with the last of those coming at the ‘Miracle at Medinah’.

That famous triumph saw the 23-time DP World Tour winner captain the side to an unbelievable comeback from a 10-6 deficit going into the final day singles to a 14 ½ – 13 ½ victory.

As well as Olazábal, Paul McGinely, who led Europe to victory at the 2014 Ryder Cup, has also been invited by Donald as he looks to surround Abu Dhabi Golf with European legends who can pass on their words of wisdom to this year’s hopefuls.

“Luke called Paul and I and asked us to come down here,” said Olazábal. “I believe he wants to create a Ryder Cup-like spirit and for us to let the players know how important the event was, and to share a few stories here and there.

“I think the Hero Cup is extremely important. When we’ve played this sort of tournament before it was great as we don’t get to play matchplay too often during the season, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to get to know the players and see which team members have good chemistry.

“Luke knows what he has to do, he doesn’t need any advice from me. He’s played in the Ryder Cup, been No.1 in the world and knows what it takes to play matchplay golf, so in that regard he doesn’t need any help.”

Continental Europe and Great Britain & Ireland are set to battle it out this week with
20 players, including two playing Captains in Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, hoping to impress Donald ahead of this year’s Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in September.

The contest will take place between January 13-15 with one session of fourballs on Friday from 11:05am, two sessions of foursomes on Saturday with the morning session getting underway at 07:35 and the afternoon at 12.20. Finally, one session of singles matches will take place on Sunday from 10:35, with all 20 players taking part in each session.

Fans hoping to witness the drama live and to see who makes their claim for a spot in Rome can register for free general admission tickets via Ticketmaster.

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