September 7th, 2010
06:20 PM ET

Pavin's Ryder Cup picks almost right

Tiger Woods has been picked for the United States' Ryder Cup team, but will his presence make the team stronger?.
Tiger Woods has been picked for the United States' Ryder Cup team, but will his presence make the team stronger?.

Corey Pavin had to pick Tiger Woods for the U.S. Ryder Cup team but there is no certainty it will make his side stronger.

Cricket may not be an American sport but, boy, did Pavin play a straight bat after picking the world number one.

Did he ever consider leaving Woods out?

“I considered everybody as potential picks,” the U.S. skipper replied, live on CNN’s World Sport show. Not the yes or no we wanted to hear.

Was he worried about the backlash if he didn’t select Woods?

“Other people can think whatever they want but I’m the captain and I’m trying to form the best team that I can form,” said Pavin.

Very diplomatic but it’s the use of the word “team” that Tiger’s critics will pick up on. Is the world number one a team player? It’s hard to pair him up and without Woods, Paul Azinger’s side hammered Europe in Valhalla two years ago.

In fact, Tiger’s Ryder Cup record isn’t as bad as some have suggested. He’s won 11 points from 25 matches and only three U.S. players have done better since the Great Britain and Ireland team was expanded to include Europe.

Pavin said he waited as late as possible before seriously considering who his wildcards would be and that played into Tiger’s hands. Since his woeful display at the Bridgestone Invitational in August, the world number one has shown glimpses of his former brilliance in recent weeks.

Few will complain about two of the other wildcards – former major winners Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink. Certainly, Cink is a potential partner for Woods.

However, Anthony Kim will feel hard done by. On his debut in 2008 he won two-and-a-half points and only just finished outside the automatic qualifying spots this time. Instead, the role of exuberant youngster goes to Rickie Fowler.

Although he sounds like a character from British soap EastEnders (not exactly The Bold & the Beautiful), the 21-year-old was born in California and looks barely more than half his age.

He’s one of five debutants on the American team while Europe has six. So, almost half the players will be experiencing their first Ryder Cup.

It’ll be fascinating to see who prospers and who crumbles in the event’s unique atmosphere.

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Filed under:  Golf
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. john cleary

    the obvious 3 picks are just fine –but fowler is a joke–what has he won what has he done–you need someone who can help the rookies not one more to babysit–watson–couples–or someone with the "i been there before"expierance is what was needed

    September 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  2. Matty

    AK is coming off an injury and hasn't rounded into form at all, and Ricky Fowler didn't have nearly as many events under his belt in which to gain points, so it's easy to see how this is a toss-up. The bottom line is, Pavin can't honestly be judged until you see how this team performs out on the course.

    September 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  3. Loten

    It's obvious that Pavin would pick Tiger, how could he not pick the worlds no.1? Golf just ain't golf without Tiger!

    September 8, 2010 at 12:34 am | Reply
  4. alehandro

    Golf learnt nothing during Tiger-gate, so once again the focus wil be on the performance of the game's fallen idol instead of on the other good men and true who earned the right to play in the Ryder Cup. Of course, he wasn't the only wild card pick, but he's the only one chosen on reputation not merit. Nobody else who'd turned in such a prolonged series of erratic displays would have been picked, but the same rules still don't apply to Tiger. And this has nothing to do with his infidelities, about which me and most of the world has ceased to care, it's about the fact that he is not the best man for the job at this time. Win or lose, Pavin has made a gutless decision by including Tiger. He's demeaned other more worthy players he's left out, and
    dimished the status of those he selected by putting them on a par with a guy who, on current form, should not be on the plane. The potential for disharmony is huge, and it will be no more than Pavin deserves if "the Bulldog", as he's known, leaves Celtic Manor on October 3rd with a new nickname - Captain Catastrophe!

    September 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  5. usman

    Without Tiger the glamour of the Ryder cup and the game at large will diminish.
    The TV, press and sponsors will reconsider they committment to the game

    September 11, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  6. Robert Belair

    Sorry, Tiger, I think you are a great golfer, anf could be the best in the world. But your form right now just doesn't justify you being on the Ryder Cup TEAM. Unless you can really help the TEAM, please show your new found maturiyy, and decline the selection unless you can really help the U.S. TEAM win the Ryder Cup.

    September 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  7. gary

    I fully agree with you Alehandro.........Tiger does not deserve to be picked.....Pavin made a dumb decision here

    September 13, 2010 at 8:02 am | Reply
  8. Kevin Dodd

    Corey Pavin Ryder Cup pick of Tiger Woods is a sure motivator for the team. Very few players have his drive and wisdom on the greens. WIthout question,this past year Tiger play is way off, and he should revisit old footage on how the winning Tiger Woods did play. If this is done, the Ryder Cup will be in Corey Pavin USA team hands. Still a good pick.

    September 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  9. Frank

    Tiger should not have been picked. The team should consist of those who can help the team win. You who think everyone should be nice are overlooking that 1) don't give the excuse that he's shown the signs of brilliance the last few weeks....the guy hasn't done a thing. The only reason he's #1 is because of what he's done in the past. And 2) that other players are on fire these days and didn't get picked.
    Get off the Camelot wagon....Tiger sucks. If he does anything to help, I'll eat my words. But if I'm right, and I'll bet I am, I'll be able to say I told you so. What ever happened to competition? You people who want him on the team are sterile, stagnant and decadent. I'd love to see other players who are deserving, aggressive and capable, rather than some worthless hypocrite. Another tourney I won't watch. You people are so boring.

    September 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  10. Frank

    us man.....sorry, but yours is a ridiculous comment. With or without Tiger, the media and everyone else will still be committed to this event. How would you know anyway? If anything, having Tiger may make some of them reconsider, just like Tiger's sponsors who quit him when he was outed. The guy isn't playing well at all...the idea is to win. Who cares what commitment there is? If you want to look at it like that, why not have the good looking women's golfers play on the team? You wanna see a high attendance? Poor logic. Poor logic.

    September 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  11. Frank

    Hey Kevin Dodd....Tiger has drive and wisdom? All I see is him sulking and throwing his clubs. Yeah....I'm gonna watch this. NOT.

    September 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  12. chaz

    the tiger pick should not have been a question

    September 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  13. Bob

    The game of golf was fine before Tiger and itwas fine without Tiger and it will be fine when he's gone. The vast majority of people attrracted to the game by Tiger have no clue of the history or the ethics of the game. Give us smaller purses and fans who repair their ball marks and don't yell "in the hole" everytime Tiger swings. What pathetic pitiful people. I even have a hunch that Tiger is embarrassed by them.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Reply

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