Why Pavin wants a new mentality

Corey Pavin is looking for a different mentality from his US team in Wales in 2010 than the one which helped the USA defeat Europe this year.

New American Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin is looking for a different mentality from his team at Celtic Manor in two years’ time than the one which helped the USA defeat Europe at Valhalla earlier this year.
Pavin was yesterday tasked with leading the United States at the 2010 match in Wales, succeeding Paul Azinger, who won the trophy for the US for the first time since 1999 when his team defeated the Europeans 16-11 at Valhalla, in Louisville, Kentucky, in September.
Pavin, the 1995 US Open champion and three-time Ryder Cup player, believes plotting a victory on foreign soil presents a very different set of challenges to winning at home, and having been on the last American team to have done so, at The Belfry in 1993, he knows what it takes to get the job done.
“It’s important to have someone who loves to go into an unfriendly situation, so to speak, with people cheering against you,” Pavin said.
“It’s a certain type of person that thrives on that.
“I was listening to a tape yesterday and I heard Lanny Wadkins say that it was so much better to play overseas because everyone was cheering for Europe, not necessarily against him, but it was just that type of a personality and I guess I have some of that in me.
“It kind of gets back to that underdog feeling where you have to go out and prove it and show it.
“That’s a great type of player to have.”
Pavin, 49, returned to Ryder Cup duty in 2006 as an assistant captain to Tom Lehman at the K Club in Ireland and aside from the experience of an 18.5 to 9.5 rout by the Europeans, the Californian got a refresher course of playing in front of partisan crowd.
He added: “The crowds were tremendous in Ireland. I thought they were very boisterous but very well behaved and I expect the same in Wales.
“I think the players that played this year on the team, when you’re part of that when your crowd are cheering for you it’s quite easy to just relax and play.
“When the cheering is for the other team for the most part it’s a different mindset and that’s going to be a very important factor in what I talk to the players about.
“That’s an issue that’s tough to get used to but you can turn that around, flip that into a positive for our team.”
Pavin reiterated his belief the USA would not be favourites at Celtic Manor, despite going into the matches as defending champions, but claimed that suited him just fine.
“I still would think that we would be underdogs over there because we’ll be playing overseas.
“I guess my whole career I’ve been looked at as the underdog, the David, so to speak, of David and Goliath. So it’s kind of a position I relish, like and grown quite accustomed to.
“It’s a position I think I can relate very well to and to the players and encourage them and get them fired up because of that.
“I love the one-on-one and head-to-head-type competition and if I can convey that to anyone on the team that needs it conveying to them I will.”