NEWPORT, Wales – U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin wants his players to find time to play Celtic Manor before they arrive to defend the trophy in October 2010.
In a joint press conference with his European counterpart Colin Montgomerie, Pavin said he would be asking potential team players either to take part in next year’s Wales Open on the 2010 Course that will be used for the Ryder Cup or find time around the playing of the British Open.
Pavin, on his first trip to Celtic Manor, is playing the Wales Open this week, but next year it could be a problem because it falls two weeks before the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
“It is obviously a little different for us, but what I’m going to do is ask my players who come over for The Open Championship, either before or after, to try to get a couple practice rounds here,” Pavin said. “I certainly would like my potential players to see the course once or twice before Ryder Cup week.”
Montgomerie has the same intention, but has just one player from last year’s losing team, Miguel Angel Jimenez, playing this week. Robert Karlsson, Soren Hanson and Oliver Wilson have all been forced to drop out with injuries.
“Those potential Ryder Cup players not playing this week, I will be asking them to participate next year,” Montgomerie said.
Pavin said he has given no thought to resurrecting the partnership of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The 2004 captain at Oakland Hills, Hal Sutton, paired them twice on opening day and they lost both matches.
“We’ll have to wait and see on that one. I don’t know,” Pavin said.
Europe has not been beaten at home since 1993 and the three courses that have staged matches since then – Valderrama, The Belfry and The K Club – had all staged a number of European Tour events beforehand.
This is the 10th Wales Open at Celtic Manor but only the second on the new 2010 Course, where the Americans will defend next year.
“The more you play a course the more you know it,” Montgomerie said. “We had an advantage in Valderrama. We had been playing the Volvo Masters at that course for 10 years and the Americans only played it for three days.”
Both captains said they would have four assistants next year, Montgomerie suggesting that Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn would be two of his. Pavin gave no names.
This week’s Wales Open has only three of the current top 50 players in the world – Ross Fisher, Jeev Milkha Singh and Jimenez, a former champion.
Pavin was part of the 1991 U.S. team at Kiawah Island, the so-called ‘War on the Shore’ where he was one of the Americans who wore ‘Desert Storm’ caps.
“That was misconstrued over here,” he said. “It was just a show of support for the troops in Iraq.”
Pavin spoke of his devotion to the event.
“I think I bring a passion to the Ryder Cup, a competitiveness and a love for the Ryder Cup. I hope that I can instill that in players,” he said.
That includes Woods, who has a relatively poor record in the Ryder Cup.
“Tiger wants to win the Ryder Cup very, very badly,” Pavin said. “As a player I can watch another player and see in his eyes what’s he thinking and what’s going through his head. I was with him in Ireland (in 2006) quite a lot and I saw a very determined man.”