VIRGINIA WATER, England -- Ryder Cup-winning captains Jose Maria Olazabal and Sam Torrance will take charge of the Continental Europe and Britain & Ireland teams in The Seve Trophy in Paris from Oct. 3-6.
Olazabal will lead Continental Europe for the second time, following a 2005 loss at The Wynyard Club. He is back in team golf a year after captaining Europe to a memorable comeback win over the United States in last year's Ryder Cup.
Torrance won the Ryder Cup in 2002 but will be captaining a Britain & Ireland in The Seve Trophy for the first time.
Both men were selected for the roles by current Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley, who led Britain & Ireland to victory two years ago.
Olazábal and Torrance will bring a wealth of experience to the captaincy positions, not least for the fact they have both enjoyed the special thrill of being a winning Ryder Cup captain; Torrance leading Europe to a memorable 15 1/2 - 12 1/2 triumph at The Belfry in 2002, while Olazábal was the architect of the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ last September, when Europe recovered from a 10-6 deficit going into the final day singles to win 14 1/2 - 13 1/2.
“I am delighted to name José María and Sam as captains,” said McGinley, who will have an overseeing role during the week. “They are two men I have the utmost respect for and who I’ve benefitted from over the years. I know they will do a fine job.”
The Seve Trophy, which was first played at Sunningdale Golf Club in England in 2000, was instigated by the late Seve Ballesteros as a team competition to be contested in non-Ryder Cup years.
Qualification for both teams began at the Nelson Mandela Championship in December 2012, and will conclude after the Itallian Open on Sept. 22. Each team will then be chosen from the leading five eligible players from the Official World Gold Ranking on Sept. 23, and the leading five eligible players from The Race to Dubai.
The event format will be similar to previous editions, the only slight alteration coming on Saturday, which will now see two sessions of four foursomes contested instead of four morning greensomes followed by four afternoon foursomes. The rest of the format remains the same with a series of five fourball matches on each of the first two days and ten singles on the final day. As with The Ryder Cup, a team requires 14 1/2 points for victory.
Continental Europe won the first edition of the contest 13 years ago, while Great Britain and Ireland have won the last six matches in succession.