Corey Pavin

USA team captain

The US captain has been synonymous with the Ryder Cup ever since the 1991 match. That year the American skipper Dave Stockton utilised the nationalistic mood in the US following the First Gulf War and Pavin was one of the players happy to soak up and thrive in that highly-charged atmosphere. He wore an army cap and more or less marched around Kiawah Island like a pumped-up soldier about to hit the front line. Throughout that debut match and his subsequent two appearances Pavin backed up his rhetoric with some determined and competitive golf, winning eight of his 13 matches (halving none). As with his individual career (which reaped 15 PGA titles including one major) he was small in stature but huge in heart and guts, and he never knew when he was beaten. As a captain he has one main problem: how to deal with Tiger Woods. Since the great man made his debut no captain has solved the dilemma, it has broken one man (Hal Sutton) and the only captain who got away with it was Paul Azinger (because Tiger was injured and didn’t play). How Pavin deals with Tiger might make or break his legacy.