Torrance praises 'inspirational' captain Olazabal

Sam Torrance
Torrance won the Ryder Cup as a player and as captain

Sam Torrance believes Jose Maria Olazabal will bring out the best in the European team at the 2012 Ryder Cup.

The Spaniard will captain Europe's defence of the trophy in Illinois after success in the Cup as a player, notably when partnering Seve Ballesteros.

"He will be the most inspiring captain we have ever had. He is an incredible human being," Torrance told BBC Radio Scotland's The Golf Show.

Torrance led the team to victory over the Americans at The Belfry in 2002.

These days he plays the seniors tour and is just back from the USPGA Champions Tour at Valhalla in Kentucky, where he missed the cut in his first event since January - and lost his clubs on the journey home.

The Scot played in every Ryder Cup from 1981 until 1995 before his success as captain almost a decade ago.

Asked if he would have liked to have retained the captaincy, he said: "I could have certainly done another one but I didn't think I would be the right person for it.

"There are so many candidates for the job now.

"When I was captain I was still on tour and seeing them every week and creating a bond.

"If you are not out with them every week it is very difficult."

For Torrance, the Ryder Cup is a tournament like no other.

"It's an extraordinary event, how it gets to you," he added.

"I think it was Tom Watson who said to Davis Love that it is the only tournament that ever makes your knees shake, and he [Love] laughed.

"Then when he came off the course he said, 'You're right. My knees were gone on the first tee.'

"I don't know what it is. It's probably playing with other people. When you play in a major and you have a bad finish you go home and sulk.

"When you come off the course at the Ryder Cup and you have got to go back in to the team room with 11 other players and the captain and the vice-captains and you have lost, there is nothing worse.

Listen to The Golf Show on Saturday from 1600-1700 BST on BBC Radio Scotland 92-95FM, 810MW and online. Get in touch with the programme via: thegolfshow@bbc.co.uk

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