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September 30, 2010

Corey Pavin


GORDON SIMPSON: Good afternoon, Corey. The Ryder Cup is underway, after these conferences, the talking will stop but for just a little longer we want to hear what you have to say. Let's just start with your initial thoughts on what we've seen.
COREY PAVIN: Yeah, pairings are funny. When you start looking at them, you start thinking about it. Both of these teams are so good and so deep, you can just pull two names out of a hat for each side and put those guys against each other, and you're going to have a great match.
You know, obviously I did not pull two names out of a hat for each group. But I do like the pairings. I do think every match is going to be a great match. They are all going to be entertaining and they are all going to be fun. They are all going to be very difficult to predict what happens. It's just a matter of going out there and playing golf tomorrow and see who makes the putts and who makes the most birdies in the morning.
GORDON SIMPSON: What's your overriding emotion at this stage going into it?
COREY PAVIN: I feel good. It's been a great week. I've been very relaxed. I feel pretty good about everything leading up to it. The week's gone well. I'm glad the opening speech is over with, and I only screwed up once, so that wasn't too bad.

Q. That was okay.
COREY PAVIN: That was okay. Yeah, I only for got one player, it could have been two, could have been worse.
It's fun. It's nice that all of the prelims are over and now we are going to start playing some golf tomorrow. Excited to watch the matches and see what happens, you know, ride around in my cart and cheer the guys on just like all of the other American fans that are over here. It's just going to be an enjoyable day tomorrow.

Q. Obviously you had to sit some players, but it's a surprise you sat Jim Furyk given he won last week; what was your logic there?
COREY PAVIN: Well, he said he's been tired. He was counting the money, and he's been very tired. (Laughter).
You'll see him out in the afternoon.

Q. Were you hoping Rory McIlroy was going to go out third for the Europeans?
COREY PAVIN: I wasn't hoping for anything. I just put Tiger and Steve in that slot, just thought it was a good slot for them, so I put them in there.

Q. There's some conventional wisdom that says you put sort of opposite players in fourballs, big hitters, say, with a short player who keeps it accurate. You didn't do that with a few of your pairings. What was the thought process behind that?
COREY PAVIN: I think we have got a lot of strong hitters on the team, a lot of guys that make a lot of birdies. I wanted to get guys out there in better-ball that make a lot of birdies. It's a very impressive game tomorrow morning, so I just look for guys that can get the ball in the hole very quickly.

Q. Can you talk a little bit, traditionally, historically, the captains put Tiger out first. What was your thinking not doing that? Did you think about that going in? There's been some talk about that maybe it gives the European side momentum if they beat him. What was your thinking?
COREY PAVIN: You know, I didn't even -- you know, that type of thought doesn't even enter my mind. I thought Phil and Dustin are playing great golf right now, and they love to play golf together. I thought it was a pretty strong team to send out first.
I think all of the teams are very strong. But Phil likes to get out there and get to it and get at it, and Dustin has been chomping at the bit, too. I thought that was a great pair to start off.

Q. Historically, or at least in recent history, the team that gets the most points Friday, you know, has a big advantage, and how much is that it a factor in what you're doing? And then secondly, four very straight hitters are not playing in the morning. Can we assume that you're going to play all your guys tomorrow?
COREY PAVIN: Well, you can assume anything you'd like.
But my intention is to try to get everybody out tomorrow. We are just going to see how the morning goes and I'll decide about 45 minutes before the first tee time in the afternoon exactly what I'm going to do.
But I'm hoping to get everybody out tomorrow.

Q. What about getting all of the players in?
COREY PAVIN: You know where I think it's really important to have more points is after the Sunday matches are over, after the singles are over.
Obviously I'd love to get off to a great start. Colin would love to get off to a great start. But, you know, just send out the guys and see how they play, and then we'll count them up after tomorrow, as well.

Q. The forecast for tomorrow is pretty grim. I just wondered, I know you talked about the weather a couple of days ago, but did that enter into your thinking at all?
COREY PAVIN: Not really. I mean, how often do the weather men actually get the weather right? (Laughing).
I just wanted to send out guys that I thought were very good at better-ball and send them out and have at it and the weather is not a factor at all. Sorry to all of the weathermen out there; apologise now.

Q. How did Tiger take not being asked to lead the team off this time?
COREY PAVIN: He's fine. He's been saying the same thing to me since I asked him if he wanted to play on the team as a pick. He just said, "Whatever you want me to do, I'll do."

Q. So he didn't take it as a snub then?

Q. Anything about Colin's picks surprise you? And were you trying to anticipate who he would put out there?
COREY PAVIN: No, I wasn't trying to anticipate anything that he was doing. To me, it was about getting Team USA out there in an order I thought that was good, and I wasn't trying to think what he was thinking. I was just trying to do what I thought was best for Team USA.

Q. Does Phil Mickelson definitely hit the first shot? Who makes that decision?
COREY PAVIN: Phil and Dustin will make that decision. It's up to them. They will talk about it. They probably already have talked about it. I don't know. It's up to them. They are the guys that are playing and whatever they are comfortable with is what they will do.

Q. If it is very wet tomorrow, and the balls are picking up mud, will you play preferred lies?
COREY PAVIN: It's not my decision to make. You have to ask John Paramor and company about that. My understanding is that they probably will, but they will make that determination tomorrow morning.

Q. And you've put some big hitters out early. Is this going to affect their effectiveness, if you like, to get up on some of those big par 4s, those long par 4s?
COREY PAVIN: I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean.

Q. Will they be effective on the golf course if it's exceedingly wet on some of the big par 4s and par 5s, you have some of the big bombers out there?
COREY PAVIN: Well, I think when the course is wet, me being a very short hitter, I thought there was an advantage to the guys that are longer when it's wet out, because it's not going to roll into the rough and where they fly it, is where it lands. Guys that fly it 290 or 300, that's where it's going to end up. When I fly it 210, that's where it's going to end up. (Laughter).

Q. If you win all four matches in the morning, will you still drop four players in the afternoon?
COREY PAVIN: Will I drop four players?

Q. Will you sit four players?
COREY PAVIN: I have to sit four players out in the afternoon. I'm not sure I understand. You mean would I --

Q. Would you sit four players who won matches in the morning?
COREY PAVIN: Oh, well, I have a plan for the afternoon. And like I said, it just depends on what happens in the morning what I will do.
You'll have to stay tuned to tomorrow to see what happens.

Q. Given the preamble is over and the action begins tomorrow, and given some of the questions put to you during the announcement of the picks tomorrow, how delighted are you that we actually get down to action come quarter to eight tomorrow morning?
COREY PAVIN: Well, that's what I've been waiting for since December of 2008 when I got a call from Jim Remy to be captain.
You know, this is a culmination of a lot of energy expended by myself to get to here. You know, I'm very excited that the matches are about to start. I can't wait to watch them just like you, and obviously I may have a little bit more impact than you may have out on the golf course. I'll be out there watching closely and monitoring what's happening and my assistants will be helping me. As the day goes on, we will formulate a plan for the afternoon.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Overton and Bubba Watson together as your anchor team, two rookies going out?
COREY PAVIN: You know, those guys are so excited to get out there and play. I really wanted to get them out there in the morning, and to experience The Ryder Cup.
I felt like if I waited to play them, that they would probably go crazy waiting. They are just chomping at the bit to get out there. I wanted to get them out there and playing, and both of those guys have a lot of firepower. They can make a lot of birdies, and I think it's a great format for both of them.

Q. Hunter Mahan played all five games at Valhalla without losing, so it's a bit of a surprise to not see him out straightaway. Can you tell us the thinking there?
COREY PAVIN: You have to sit somebody out. You know, that's decisions that a captain has to make.
Four guys have to sit out every round. And as I said, I am trying to get everybody out the first day. You have to sit someone somewhere. If you have any better suggestions, I'd love to hear them, but I guess maybe it's a little too late for those suggestions.

Q. You had a guest speaker in earlier in the week; do you have any plans for anything similar tonight, the night before it starts?
COREY PAVIN: I do not.

Q. What will the guys be doing?
COREY PAVIN: Relaxing. You know, we have a nice evening planned. We have the players' parents and in-laws and their children coming up tonight to have a nice family evening. In previous Ryder Cups, it's been very difficult for you to even see your families during the week, so we thought it would be nice for the players and wives to be able to see their families this evening. So we are just going to have a nice relaxing kind of barbeque tonight.

Q. Have you had any messages of support from anybody back home in the States or anybody coming over here that's particularly pleased you or moved you?
COREY PAVIN: Just well wishes from everybody. It seems like all of the past captains have been in touch with me. The U.S. past captains to wish team luck; you know, I've gotten so many text messages, it's unbelievable. And there's been plenty of people reaching out to wish the United States Team a lot of luck.

Q. With the pairing of Bubba and Jeff together in the last position, do you think that that frees them up because you're going to be putting hopefully more points on the board, so they will be more relaxed?
COREY PAVIN: You know, I wanted them to go off last, because I wanted them to see and experience some things that were happening with the first few matches. I wanted them to get out on the range, get on the practise tee, hear the people and hear the way things are going.
And that would be their experience before they tee it up on the first tee. I think those guys will feed off each other and have a fun time anyway out there tomorrow for sure.

Q. You say you've heard from past captains; the last to win over here was Tom Watson, have you heard from Tom?
COREY PAVIN: Yeah, I think the other day, I was saying I spoke with Tom Sunday night right before we came over. We had a very nice conversation, and certainly part of that conversation was to wish everybody lots of luck.
GORDON SIMPSON: Corey, thank you very much.

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