European captain Sam Torrance may not be at full strength when his squad faces the Americans Sept. 28-30 at The Belfry.
Other leading European players, such as Sergio Garcia, Jesper Parnevik and Miguel Angel Jimenez, all of whom played at Brookline two years ago, and Bernhard Langer are spending most of their time on the PGA Tour this year.
Said Olazabal: I know that if I want to make the team I have to do well in the tournaments I play in Europe, but I have to say, if I dont play this year, its not going to be the end of the world. Its not the first time I have felt that way about the Ryder Cup.
Van de Velde was outspoken in his criticism of Mark James, the 1999 captain, after James had kept Van de Velde, Jarmo Sandelin and Andrew Coltart out of the match until the singles on the last day.
The Ryder Cup has not been one of my goals, said the Frenchman. I have to play extremely well to be even in the team because last time, when I qualified, I didnt play. I dont have any bitterness about it, its just a fact.
Van de Velde and Olazabal are each competing in this weeks European Tour event, the Novotel Perrier Open de France.