Pavin not afraid to bench Tiger at Ryder Cup

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LONDON – Tiger Woods is not guaranteed to play in the maximum five matches against Europe in next month’s Ryder Cup.

The top-ranked Woods, chosen as one of U.S. captain Corey Pavin’s four wild-card picks last week, will be playing in his sixth Ryder Cup but has been on the winning side only once, in 1999.

“I am going to treat every player the same,” Pavin told BBC Radio on Sunday. “The objective is to try to win the Ryder Cup, and if in my judgment I think Tiger is to play five matches, or should play four or three, then that is what I will do – that’s my call as captain.”

“For me, it’s how he’s playing golf. That’s my concern as far as the Ryder Cup goes.”

Woods, a 14-time major winner but without a tournament victory this year, has picked up 11 points from a possible 25 in the Ryder Cup. He has won three of his five singles matches but only seven of 20 matches in foursomes and fourballs, which are played in pairs on the opening two days. He also has two halves.

Woods was missing when the U.S. won back the trophy from Europe at Valhalla near Louisville, Ky., in 2008.

“Tiger told me he will do whatever is necessary to help the team win, and that is going to be my call, and I will probably be making that decision a little bit on the fly. But I’m not afraid to not play him every match, that’s for sure,” Pavin said.

“The objective is to win the match, and that’s what I’m going to be trying to do, whatever that takes.”

The Ryder Cup will be played Oct. 1-3 at Celtic Manor in Wales.

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