José Maria Olazábal has decided to follow the Colin Montgomerie blueprint for Royal Trophy success by taking on a dual role as Player - Captain.
The man who led Europe to their glorious Ryder Cup victory in September had already been appointed as Royal Trophy Captain for a second time, after previously taking charge in 2009.
But after reflecting on Motgomerie's twin triumphs in 2010 and 2011 when he combined playing for the Team with the European Captaincy, Olazábal decided he would relish a similar challenge.
He explained: "Colin's achievement in leading Europe to two magnificent Royal Trophy victories in each of the past two years, while also competing himself, has shown it is possible to lead in the team room and secure points on the golf course."
"The Royal Trophy is different to the Ryder Cup in that the captain needs to decide who to play and who to leave out during the first two days. But at the Royal Trophy all eight players on each team play in all three sessions - the foursomes, the four-ball and the singles. "
"You still need to get your pairings right, but once the first ball is hit there is not so much you can do to influence the outcome of the matches - so I have decided to play a role on the golf course in trying my best to win matches for Europe."
"The competitive juices flow through me as powerfully as ever and I strongly believe that this is the right strategy. I will definitely be drawing on my Ryder Cup experience to make a sound contribution to our European Team."
Nobody is better equipped than Olazábal to tap into the winning formula for team play.
He and Seve Ballesteros formed the most successful partnership in Ryder Cup history - in addition to winning two Masters Titles apiece!
Seve and Olazábal played together on 15 occasions, and were beaten only twice. They were largely responsible for ending the USA's long period of Ryder Cup dominance, and ushering in a new age of European supremacy.
The stunning 14 ½ - 13 ½ victory Olazábal masterminded at Medinah in September was Europe's fifth win in the last eight matches - and was arguably the most memorable so far.
Europe staged a record comeback on the final day to overturn a 10-6 deficit, with Olazábal earning glowing praise for inspiring his players to that victory, dubbed the ‘Miracle at Medinah'.
He also pointed to Seve as an inspirational figure. The European Captain and his players were determined to honour the memory of the legendary Spaniard, who died last May after a courageous battle against brain cancer.
Seve was also the founding father of the Royal Trophy, and Olazábal admitted that fact had played a part in his decision to double up as Captain and player.
He added: "We have just triumphed in the first Ryder Cup since Seve left us, and it would be another fitting tribute if we could do the same thing at the Royal Trophy, a competition he did so much to establish."
"I want to do everything in my power to make that happen, and hopefully that will help me to produce some great golf - and make the right decisions on the course."
The sixth edition of the Royal Trophy - Europe vs Asia Golf Championship will be played at The Empire Hotel & Country Club in the Sultanate of Brunei on 14-16 December 2012.
Remarkable travel packages are available which include travel on Royal Brunei Airlines and luxurious seven-star accommodation at the Host Venue - The Empire Hotel & Country Club and at other excellent hotels in the Sultanate of Brunei. For travel information, please contact +852-2834-0060.
The Royal Trophy will be immediately preceded by the 2012 Asia Pacific Golf Summit - an event firmly established as one of the world's leading business gatherings for the golf industry.
--Courtesy of Brudirect.com