home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 12, 2009

Corey Pavin


JULIUS MASON: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, joining us is the United States Ryder Cup Captain for the 2010 Ryder Cup over in Wales. Corey Pavin is also making his 20th stop at a PGA Championship, where I believe he finishes, his best finish was in second in 1994, if he recalls that.
COREY PAVIN: Nick Price won.
JULIUS MASON: Who took second?
COREY PAVIN: You just said it.
JULIUS MASON: Welcome to Hazeltine, Minneapolis, Chaska. Some opening thoughts and we'll go to Q&A.
COREY PAVIN: It's great to be here playing in the tournament. Golf course looks fabulous.
Last time I played here was 1991 U.S. Open, I believe. The course is a little bit longer than it was then, but it's in great shape. It's the kind of golf course that's going to just require a lot out of your game. And you'll have to hit the ball straight. Long rough out there. It will be tough shots into these greens. And you miss some greens you have to get it up-and-down. So it will be a pretty solid test of golf this week, I think.

Q. What is your take on the length, particularly on the par 5s. It sounds like not a lot of guys are going to be able to -- maybe no one will be able to reach most of them in two. Can that actually work in the favor of a shorter hitter?
COREY PAVIN: Absolutely. I said it to you on the golf course. I'm glad the par 5s are that long. Personally I like to see either very long par 5s or just two of them on the golf course.
So it's very good. Nobody's going to be reaching them, like you said, in two, or very few guys are. I'm sure there will be a few guys that will get them down wind or something and might be able to reach them.
But for the most part it's three-shot holes and that helps short hitters. It's good. It's going to be harder to birdie the par 5s for everybody. They will be tougher holes, and it will be the same boat for everybody.

Q. Continuing on that line, does this mean, then, that the field will be open to other potential winners, rather than those that we might consider as favorites?
COREY PAVIN: Well, I'm not sure who you consider as favorites. But I think it does open the field up, definitely. I think whenever you get a golf course that you can look at and say length is not a serious factor, it's still important. I mean, the guys who hit it long and straight will have an advantage. They always do no matter where you play.
But having par 5s like this really makes a difference. So it should make everybody a little bit more competitive out here.

Q. Continuing on that theme of length, when Tiger got established on this TOUR, the term Tiger-proofing came into play. That's when we saw this huge escalation in length. Not only in the 5s or 490-yard, 500-yard par 4s. For you as a player how much did that change in philosophy impact your ability to be a successful player on TOUR, given the fact that you didn't have that natural length?
COREY PAVIN: I think Tiger-proofing is exactly the opposite of what happened. I think people with length, it actually made it easier for them. As a result it probably made it a little harder for me not having the length. But when courses are set up in certain ways, it's still okay for me.
So the way this golf course is right now, with the par 5s being very long, makes it -- equalizes it a little bit for me more. But longer courses are harder for me because I don't hit the ball as long. It's more difficult. But I've learned how to hit rescue clubs and 5-woods and 3-woods into the greens and play smarter golf.
So when we get into golf courses like this where even par and 1-under and 2-under is a very good score, that helps me out a lot.

Q. Can you talk about the state of your game and your expectations this week on this course?
COREY PAVIN: Well, I felt like the last few weeks my game's been a lot better. I didn't really play very well at the beginning of the year. It's starting to -- I'm starting to see some signs of much better play. Some good rounds. I've been driving the ball a lot better. As a result, I'm hitting a few more greens and making a lot of birdies.
So I feel very comfortable with the progression of my game at this point, and I expect to have a good week. I came here to compete and that's what I'm going to do my best to do.

Q. Let's turn to the Ryder Cup. I assume that's something you're here to talk about. Coming off of victory, as opposed to coming off a loss, do you notice that at this early stage as an asset in the players that you might eventually have on your team?
COREY PAVIN: It's certainly an asset. Guys that have been on winning Ryder Cup teams to play on the next competition in the Ryder Cup is a positive. The guys have won. They have the taste of it. Hopefully they know what it takes to win their matches, and it can be nothing but a positive for us.
It's not going to be easy when we go over there and play, but it helps.

Q. In view of what happened at The K Club in 2006 and previous matches, at any stage did you fear for the future of the Ryder Cup, and how important was the win at Valhalla in that regard, was there any fear that America would get turned off to the event almost?
COREY PAVIN: I never feared that Americans would get turned off to the event at all. That never entered my mind. I think whenever you have a sporting event and it gets one-sided, it's not good for that event.
I think people kind of tune out to it a little bit. So in that respect I think it was very good that the U.S. team won at Valhalla, because people perceive it as being more competitive.
Having said that, I think it's always very competitive, even when the results might be a little lopsided, because sometimes these lopsided results are really not as lopsided as they appear.
And I'd venture to say that the win in Valhalla was not as big a victory as it looked on paper. There's a couple of matches that could have gone another way and it would have been very, very close matches.
So I see it as extremely competitive throughout the years. I mean, even as Europe's been winning them and were destroying us a little bit, I think they were still very, very competitive. And I think it will continue to be that way.
The Ryder Cup's going to live on for a long time. People love to watch it. Ratings are fantastic. And I don't expect it to be any different in the future.

Q. It's interesting, even though the score, the margins in the score lines have been quite wide, but the basic factor, was it not, in the difference in the matches was that in the last Ryder Cup, the greens were faster, and the previous Ryder Cups, the greens were slower; is it that simple, do you think?
COREY PAVIN: I wish it was. There's so many factors that go into it. But there's a couple times when Europe just played fantastically and whipped us. Last year we played a lot better. We holed a lot more putts. A few chips went in. It was just different in a good way for us.
But, you know, it happens. There's ebbs and flow to everything. It's the first time I have seen putts go in for the U.S. side for a long time. A lot of it boils down to that; who is making the important putts, who is making the important shots. The timing is important in match play, and thus the Ryder Cup.

Q. Woosie deliberately slowed them down; I don't think you had the opportunity to speed up the greens at Oakland Hills because of the contours on them, so maybe that. I mean, you were with Tom Lehman in 2006. Tom did everything possible to get the equation right, and it just didn't work. It's quite a daunting job, isn't it?
COREY PAVIN: It's a job that as a captain you can do everything you can to get your team ready and make everything as easy as possible for them to play golf.
As a captain, we can't hit a shot for our team even though we wish we probably could, because I know Tom loves to compete. And I love to compete. But our players have to go out and perform and do it. And all we can do as captain is to make the pairings the best we can and send them out there, and just let them do their thing and hopefully they'll perform well. We're kind of at the mercy of our players to some extent.

Q. Based on what you know of the golf course and what you've seen, I know you've been over there, what sort of image do you have about the kind of player that that golf course best suits in a kind of player you might be looking for beyond the obvious guys?
COREY PAVIN: What obvious guys? I'm not sure what you mean.
But the golf course is a very straightforward golf course over there. There's not a lot of learning out there. Everything's right in front of you. The greens are not exceptionally sloped. There's a few places you want to avoid, obviously.
But I think it's going to require someone who has good strategy. It's not a golf course where I think length is going to be a huge factor. There will be a couple holes where it's going to be important. Especially on 18, which is a reachable par 5. And 15's a reachable par 4. So those holes are going to be interesting at the Ryder Cup.
But the type of player is just going to be someone who plays very solid golf. I think it's very important. Driving the ball is going to be a very important factor at Celtic Manor. If you drive the ball off the fairway, there's some really long stuff that's going to be there, and you won't be able to play from there.
So first thing is you're going to have some people that drive the ball very nicely. And I always want to have great putters on the team, chippers and putters; that's where match play is won and lost.

Q. Is it fair to say the difference in going from stroke to match play is mostly a mental adjustment? And if that is the case, what are the mental assets that make for a good match-play golfer?
COREY PAVIN: Well, obviously stroke play and match play are very different. The timing of how you perform in match play is critical. You have so many important shots or putts or chips in a match that you have to come through at those times. When you do come through, it demoralizes your opponent, and that's at the time you have to be mentally tough and focus and make it happen. You have a 10-footer for par on the third hole; that could be the most important thing that happens in the whole match.
You have to be very mentally tough. You have to really want to beat your opponent and play very hard against him, very competitive. It's somewhat like maybe a situation last weekend when Paddy and Tiger were playing the last day. It was kind of a match-play situation but it was in a stroke-play forum.
But those are the types of things that I'll be watching the next year, year and a month or so, to see what guys perform under those circumstances.

Q. Can you coach that? Can you teach those skills?
COREY PAVIN: I don't know. I don't think they are. I think they're kind of inborn or you develop them over time. It's just a winning attitude. It's going out there and making things to win tournaments or to perform very well under pressure. Sometimes you can not win a tournament and have performed very well and done everything you think you need to do to win, and you don't.
So it's not just about winning. It's about performing under pressure, and you have to learn that as a player and as a competitor. That takes time. And I think you can see guys that do have it and guys that struggle with it. And sometimes guys struggle with it and it clicks and they start playing great and winning. So it's just a learning process.

Q. How important is it for America to follow up last year's Ryder Cup victory with another victory, especially one on foreign soil?
COREY PAVIN: It's important to me. I mean, I'd certainly like to see us win the Ryder Cup. I don't want to retain it. I want to win the matches. So it's a very important thing for me personally. I don't see any good that would come from my point of view if we didn't win.

Q. I mean, America's gone through a period of time where it hasn't been able to sustain success in the Ryder Cup. How important would it be to the overall American effort in a Ryder Cup if they could win, and therefore, sustain this for a period of time?
COREY PAVIN: I think it's always great to sustain victories and whatnot. I think kind of what we were talking about earlier; it's great to see the matches close, because that certainly keeps people interested more.
I'd love nothing more than to see the United States dominate the Ryder Cup for a long time. But I don't know if that's possible in this day and age. The competitors are so close. The teams are so close in talent, that it's going to be tough to win year after year for either Europe or the United States. It happened a long time ago, but I think the talent pool is a lot different now than it was 30, 40, 50 years ago.

Q. Do you think your TOUR nine-hole scoring record of 26 is safe this week?
COREY PAVIN: That is just a fabulous question. (Laughter).
I hope so. I think it probably is. What do you think? No? Okay. That's why you write the articles.
JULIUS MASON: Wales 2010 not that far away, ladies and gentlemen. Corey Pavin, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297