Montgomerie keeping Olazabal in Ryder Cup frame

By Norman Dabell

SEVILLE, Spain (Reuters) - Europe's Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie said he may try again to persuade Jose Maria Olazabal to be one of his assistants at this year's match against the United States.

Double U.S. Masters champion Olazabal said last year that he would be reluctant to act as a second-string again after being Nick Faldo's vice-captain in the defeat by the U.S. in 2008.

But the 44-year-old Spaniard has not played this year because of rheumatic problems and Montgomerie is keen to make use of his vast experience.

"With his experience and from what I heard from the players in 2008 how good he was -- and I'm sure he will be a captain of the future -- he would be invaluable for our team," Montgomerie told Reuters on Wednesday before this year's Spanish Open.

"I know he was disenchanted with the idea of doing it again but he is someone in whom I hold huge respect and I'm not ruling him out."

Olazabal is not playing this week's Spanish Open at Seville's Real Club course which he designed. He is, however, hoping to play at another one of his projects, Pula which hosts the Majorca Open in two weeks.

Irishman Paul McGinley and Dane Thomas Bjorn, last year's Seve Trophy captains, are also candidates to be Montgomerie's assistants but the Scotsman will wait until after the British Open before naming them.

"I've got to give them a chance through the British Open," he said. "Thomas and Paul are talented enough to go and win the British Open. Then what happens? I don't want them having to resign because they want to make the team."

Eight-times European number one Montgomerie, 322nd in the world rankings and 200th on Europe's money-list, again expressed his desire to notch up a victory before the Ryder Cup to show his players he can still win.

"I want to be standing at the (Ryder Cup) opening ceremony having won this year," said Montgomerie. "If it doesn't happen I do hope the team will still have respect for me as a player.

"But number one goal is to win this damn thing (the Ryder Cup)."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)