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Olazabal tabs 3 Ryder Cup assistants

European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal named three of his four assistant captains Thursday for the event at Medinah in a few weeks.

Olazabal selected last year's Open champion Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn and Paul McGinley as his European side defends the Ryder Cup next month against the U.S.

"For me to have these guys, all such great friends, by my side is fantastic," said Olazabal. "I know, like me, they will now be counting down the days to Medinah with one aim -- to return home with the Cup."

All three are Ryder Cup veterans, and, with Olazabal, were Colin Montgomerie's "backroom team" at the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. The European team, under Montgomerie's leadership, won back the Ryder Cup two years ago.

"I could not be more delighted than to have Thomas, Darren and Paul as Vice Captains, especially as we bonded so well supporting Colin Montgomerie in 2010," said Olazabal.

The European team will be finalized on Monday Aug. 27.

With just two weeks to go, Olazabal's European squad is taking shape.

PGA champion Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Peter Hanson appear safe to make the team.

Martin Kaymer and Ian Poulter own the final two spots. Sergio Garcia, Nicolas Colsaerts and Padraig Harrington will be in the mix for Olazabal's captain's picks.

Davis Love III has eight members of his American team finalized.

Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner, Masters champion Bubba Watson, U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson made the team on points.

Love has four picks on Sept. 3, with Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Brandt Snedeker and Bo Van Pelt likely to be under consideration.

Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert were named assistants for Love months ago, but on Monday, the captain pegged Scott Verplank and Jeff Sluman as well.

The Ryder Cup is on tap for Sept. 28-30 at Medinah.