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Love looking to earn playing spot on U.S. he will captain

Davis Love III tees off on the third hole during the third round of the 93rd PGA Championship golf tournament at the Atlanta Athletic Club i
Davis Love III tees off on the third hole during the third round of the 93rd PGA Championship golf tournament at the Atlanta Athletic Club i

(Reuters) - Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III will try to play his way onto the team he will lead but European captain Jose Maria Olazabal will not tee it up next year at Medinah Golf Club if he qualifies for a spot.

Marking the one-year countdown to the Ryder Cup, the two captains exchanged memories, extended compliments and sketched out their long term plans on Monday at a Chicago news conference ahead of the biennial competition that will run from September 25-30.

While Love is eager to add a playing role to his duties, Olazabal, who represented Europe in seven Ryder Cups as a player, for three wins and a tie, said he wants no part of the action this time.

"I will be part of the team but not as a player," the Spaniard told reporters. "I gave my word that I was going to be captain and with that comes a lot of responsibility, a lot of things you have to do.

"I think the Ryder Cup has become the third biggest sporting event in the world.

"There are many things you have to do that week and I don't think that you can do both things at the same time. It's as simple as that."

Love has appeared in six Ryder Cups helping the Americans to victory in 1993 and 1999 but earned his last selection in 2004.

The competitive fires, however, still burn bright for Love, who made it clear he will be trying to earn one of the automatic selections.

"I'm definitely trying, I was trying to make Freddie's (Fred Couples) President Cup team," said Love. "I'm out every week trying to compete and play well to try and get in the winner's circle again.

"I would like nothing better than to be in the mix but the number one goal is to win the Cup back and if I was one of the best five players on our Tour this coming year than I would like to play.

"Otherwise I'm going to get 12 really good ones and let them go do it."

Europe has taken ownership of the Ryder Cup winning four of the last five events and will arrive in Chicago next year as defending champions after a victory at Celtic Manor in Wales last year.

The Americans have won only once since the new millennium dawned, in 2008 on home soil at the Valhalla Golf Club.

"I've played on both sides of the pond and it's certainly easier when you're playing at home. It is the home field advantage," Love said.

"I hope our fans understand that it is a gentleman's game and they need to respect both sides but I certainly feel like we're going to have a 13th man because we are at home."

The two captains had a chance to get a look at the Medinah layout that will be the focus of the golfing world a year from now and both men gave the course rave reviews.

Medinah is no stranger to big events and has long been recognized as one of the United States great layout's having played host to three U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships.

"Incredible history of hosting major championships and it's a golf course that you look out there every day, it looks like a major championship is getting ready to happen," said Love. "It just has that look to it.

"So a great golf course and a great facility for the biggest golf event in the world and I think golf fans that come here are going to see one of the greatest golf events ever.

"This is just an incredible place to have a tournament."

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto, editing by Julian Linden)

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