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Golf: Olazabal Turns Down Europe's Ryder Cup Team - 2002-05-12

Two-time Masters golf champion Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain has turned down Captain Sam Torrance's offer to help Europe's Ryder Cup team this September at the Belfy in England.

Olazabal said Saturday that he declined the offer of being one of Torrance's helpers for the match series against the United States because he could not stand to be at the event and not play in it.

Torrance chose Spain's Sergio Garcia and Sweden's Jesper Parnevik as wild cards for the Ryder Cup, which was postponed last year because of September's terrorist attacks.

Since then Olazabal has excelled on the European Tour, winning the Hong Kong Open and taking the U.S. Tour's Buick Invitational title.

Defending champion Karrie Webb of Australia has a share of the lead after firing a seven-under-par, 65 in the third round of the Nichirei World Lady's golf tournament in Japan.

Webb had eight birdies and one bogey in her round on the par-72 Yomiuri Country Club and is tied with Japan's Yuri Fudo at 12-under-par, 204.

Webb, a two-time defending champion at the event, started Saturday's round five shots behind Fudo, the top earner on the Japanese LPGA Tour last year.

Japan's Chieko Amanuma fired a four under par, 68 and is tied for third with countrywoman Rie Murata, who had a three under par, 69 in her third round.