• Ryder Cup

Pavin names Woods as one of his Ryder Cup picks

ESPN staff
September 7, 2010
Corey Pavin explains his picks

Corey Pavin has officially named Tiger Woods in his 12-man team to take on Europe in the 2010 Ryder Cup.

Pavin announced his four wild-card picks on Tuesday, ahead of the October cross-continent showdown at Celtic Manor. Woods' name was the third of four wild-cards confirmed, with the 14-time major winner selected alongside Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

The decision is just the latest chapter in a turbulent year for Woods, who has seen his form take a serious nosedive following revelations leading to the break-up of his marriage to Elin Nordegren. The highest 72-hole score of his career at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational even had Woods admitting he would not pick himself for the Ryder Cup, but things have improved somewhat over the last month.

Stronger performances at the Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship have seen Woods keep his FedEx Cup campaign on track, and he even managed to fend off Phil Mickelson's challenge for his world No. 1 spot. In the mind of Pavin, it was merely a matter of allowing Woods to prove his worth.

"I was trying not to form any opinion until this weekend," said Pavin. "I waited, and I was pleased to see him playing better (at the Deutsche Bank Championship). The objective is to have 12 players with one goal in mind.

"Did I have any doubts? I didn't think about it very much, I was hoping Tiger would qualify on points. He didn't so then I waited to see how he played. What was important to me was whether I thought the guys could play well. I wanted guys who would round off the team, not 12 great individuals.

"I asked Tiger if he'd like to be on the team, and he said 'absolutely'. He said, 'tell me what you want me to do, and I'll do it'. Which is what a captain likes."

Woods' Ryder Cup record has not represented his dominance in the sport of golf throughout the years, picking up just 11 points from a possible 25. He was also absent when the US team claimed victory so convincingly two years ago in Valhalla, but the world No. 1 admits he is delighted to be involved.

"It's great to be part of this team and it's an honour to be selected," said Woods. "I've been to Wales previously and I'm looking forward to going back and having a great time with the team. I'm part of a team, whether I was picked or whether I earned my place, that doesn't change the goal."

The inclusion of rookie Fowler, at the expense of the likes of Lucas Glover, Anthony Kim and Ricky Barnes, was the other talking point of Tuesday's press conference. US captain Pavin revealed it was a tough decision, but not one that caused him too many undue worries due to the player's past performances at amateur level in the Walker Cup.

"It was difficult but we were done at a fairly early hour last night," said Pavin. "A lot of talk went into it, I spoke to all eight members of the team, and we made a choice. Rickie's deserving. There were a lot of people in the mix, but it just came down to gut feeling. Rickie has a good [Walker Cup] record, 7-1, he's a good player, and that's the way I went."

US Ryder Cup squad: Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Jeff Overton, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar, Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler.

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