Pavin: Woods a real ‘Ryder Cup man’
US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin expects a fully committed display from Tiger Woods at Celtic Manor in October.
US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin insists that Tiger Woods is a real “Ryder Cup man” and expects to get a fully committed display from the World number one should he make the US team for the biennial battle against Europe at Celtic Manor in October.
The 14-time major champion has been accused of not caring about the event, but on his last appearance in the emphatic record-equalling 18.5-9.5 defeat of the US by Europe at the K Club in 2006, Woods was the American’s leading points scorer, contributing three points from a possible five.
In five Ryder Cup appearances Woods has won 10, lost 13 and halved two matches and has only tasted victory on one occasion, at Brookline in 1999 when he contributed two points out of five.
Woods missed the victory at Valhalla in 2008 after undergoing knee surgery following his dramatic US Open win at Torrey Pines, and turned down an offer from skipper Paul Azinger to act as a vice-captain.
“They are just rumours Tiger is not into the Ryder Cup,” Pavin, who acted as an assistant to captain Tom Lehman at the K Club, told the media on Thursday.
I was with him in 2006 in Ireland and I saw a very determined man who wanted to win and I don’t think that has changed at all.
“I am not sure where all the rumours started in the first place, but I can only go from what I have seen live and in colour in Ireland.
“He didn’t play as well as he wanted to play, but hanging around in the team room I saw one man that wanted to win the Ryder Cup.
“He is a Ryder Cup guy and he loves it, I have watched it and I have seen it,” added Pavin, who has won two Ryder Cup’s in three appearances as a player, winning eight out of 13 matches.
“I can tell by watching players in any venue how into it they are and I could see by looking into his eyes and by his body language that he wanted to win and wanted to perform well.”
Looking ahead to this year’s Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in October, Pavin insists he is unconcerned by Woods’ inactivity this year after witnessing his return from a five-month self-imposed exile with a fourth-placed finish at the Masters last week.
After initially stating he would take another break, Woods has since confirmed appearances at the Quail Hollow Championship later this month and at June’s US Open at Pebble Beach after his finish at Augusta moved him up to seventh place on the USA Ryder Cup points table.
“If Tiger is playing well enough I would give him a captain’s pick if he didn’t qualify, but he would have to be playing well enough,” said Pavin.
“If he doesn’t play at all leading up to the Ryder Cup it is going to be pretty tricky to pick him as I don’t know how he would be playing.
“It would be hard not to pick him at any point, but he needs to play well, he needs to show me he is playing well just like any other player. Just because he is Tiger doesn’t mean he has a free pass onto the team.”
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