US skipper Pavin relishing debut trip to Celtic Manor

AMERICAN Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin will take his first look at Celtic Manor when he plays in the Wales Open in June (4-7).

Opposite number Colin Montgomerie will also be competing, but he already knows the 2010 Ryder Cup course well, whereas Pavin says his dream of leading the cup holders in October next year “will begin to become reality with my trip”.

“When I was appointed captain, I spoke of what a great thrill it was for me to have this wonderful honour,” said Pavin. “The Ryder Cup is the most dynamic and intense experience a competitive golfer will ever have.

“I started my professional career in Europe and have extremely fond memories of those days and the wonderful people I encountered along the way.

“I look forward to bringing my wife Lisa to Wales and connecting with the people. Don’t be surprised to find us hanging out in pubs the week of the Wales Open enjoying friendly banter about the possibilities of 2010.

“I am determined to lead our team with passion and determination, but in the spirit of great sportsmanship and camaraderie. In these tough global economic times, we need to keep this wonderful event in perspective.

“Colin and I have met each other on three occasions in the Ryder Cup (Pavin lost the first two, but won the third) and it will be great to see him again.

“We are both passionate guys with a genuine love for the game and it will be fantastic to play in the same tournament together on the same course where we will both have the honour of being captains in what I believe is the greatest event in golf.”

Montgomerie commented: “It is tremendous news that Corey is playing and myself and Gaynor look forward very much to welcoming him and Lisa to Wales.

“Throughout his career Corey has shown himself as a great competitor and I am sure, like me, he will be striving to win the Celtic Manor Wales Open as well as looking ahead to his own plans for next year’s Ryder Cup.

“The course where next year’s Ryder Cup will unfold is set up to challenge the best and, being a course with a whole host of tempting options and punishing hazards, there will be much for Corey and I to examine.”

The Americans have not won on European soil since 1993. Pavin was part of that side at The Belfry.

“I played my first Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island in 1991 and things like listening to the national anthem and feeling the pressure as a player cemented my love for the event in my blood forever,” he said.

“I knew then I wanted to play in as many Ryder Cups as possible and dreamt about being captain. Now that dream has come true.”


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