2010 Ryder Cup
(From left) Davis Love III, Jeff Sluman, Paul Goydos and Tom Lehman will serve as captain Corey Pavin's right-hand men at The Celtic Manor come October. (Getty Images)

Pavin picks Lehman, Love, Sluman, Goydos as assistants

2010 United States Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin has tabbed Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Jeff Sluman and Paul Goydos to help guide his team as it tries to retain the Cup against the Europeans at The Celtic Manor Resort's Twenty Ten Course in Wales this October.

U.S. Team Captain Corey Pavin has named former Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman, along with PGA Tour veterans Davis Love III, Jeff Sluman and Paul Goydos to serve as assistants for the 2010 United States Ryder Cup Team.

The foursome was announced Wednesday (Feb. 3) at a news conference at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., prior to the Northern Trust Open. They will serve Oct. 1-3, as the U.S. faces Europe in the 38th Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales.

Lehman, 50, the 1996 British Open Champion and 2006 Ryder Cup Captain, is a veteran of three Ryder Cup Teams (1995, ’97, ’99), posting a 5-3-2 record. In 2006, Lehman chose Pavin as one of his assistants at The K Club in Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland.

Love, 45, winner of the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., has competed on six Ryder Cup Teams (1993, ’95, ’97, ’99, 2002, ’04), compiling a 9-12-5 record. He won a crucial singles match in 1993 at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England, joining Pavin as teammates on the last U.S. Team to capture the Ryder Cup in Europe.

Sluman, 52, and Goydos, 45, have yet to compete on a Ryder Cup Team. Sluman won the 1988 PGA Championship, and has been a top performer on both the PGA and Champions Tours. Goydos, a winner of two Tour events, is a veteran of 18 seasons on the PGA Tour.

“I believe that the strength to any team, especially in the Ryder Cup, stems from the support staff you have behind the ropes and in the locker room,” said Pavin. “That makes the four assistants I’ve chosen MVPs in my mind. I believe that Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Jeff Sluman and Paul Goydos bring experience, proven ability under pressure in major championships and Ryder Cups, and a fresh perspective in how to help bond this team for the challenges that we will face in Wales.

“Tom and Davis have been longtime friends of mine. Tom and I joined for his first Ryder Cup match, and Davis and I were on the U.S. Team in 1993 that brought home the Cup from The Belfry -- the last time the USA won on foreign soil.

“Jeff is a major champion, a seasoned veteran who has been a success on both the regular and the Champions Tour. Paul is well-liked, a fine player and a good judge of talent and well respected over the 18 years he has been on Tour. I know that I will lean on them for advice, and I am delighted that they have accepted to be a part of our team this year.”

Lehman and Pavin have known each other since their collegiate days, and continued their friendship as Tour members and Ryder Cup teammates.

“It’s an honor to be a part of Corey’s support team, and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Lehman. “Corey was my partner in the first Ryder Cup match I ever played (1995 at Oak Hill Country Club) and we’ve remained good friends over the years.”

In his Ryder Cup debut, Lehman and Pavin defeated current European Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie and former Captain Nick Faldo, 1-up, in a foursomes match.

“I’m ready to do whatever I can to assist Corey,” said Lehman. “He will have a lot of demands upon his time. Each of the assistants will bring certain strengths to their job, and I know that my strengths are different than that of Davis, Jeff and Paul. Corey has done a good job in preparation. It’s all about the team and about giving the guys the best environment to play the best golf.”

Love, who called the assistants he joins “a great team,” said that he was honored to accept Pavin’s invitation as an assistant with one caveat -- that his “No. 1 goal was to first try to make the team.”

“I’m thrilled, and either way I get to go to the Ryder Cup,” said Love. “I told Corey a month ago that I will do everything I can to help him win. This will be a great opportunity to see on the other side how it’s done. If I have one thought I have above all – I’ve missed it.

“I was on the last team to win in Europe, and I was on the other side of it, too. I’ve seen how six different Captains work. It’s all about how the players play, and if I can help them relax and putt better, then great. The big question that you have with a team going over there is to how to get our team to relax.”

Sluman said that Pavin approached him in Hawaii in January about the assistant’s opportunity, and called his next assignment “a thrill.”

“What a great bunch of guys to be joining in helping this Ryder Cup Team!” said Sluman. “It’s an honor to have the chance to participate in a Ryder Cup and see what takes place behind the playing scene. I’ve known Corey over the years and we share a mutual respect. We’re really similar in physical stature and styles of play.”

Goydos said that his call to serve from Pavin “has got to be one of the highlights of my career.”

“It’s a great honor,” said Goydos. “The Ryder Cup is the face of our game. I think it is the starting point of our game and gets the most people excited. This is an honor to serve your game.”

Eight members of the 2010 U.S. 12-member team that will compete against Europe will be selected following the 92nd PGA Championship, Aug. 12-15, at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis. On Sept. 7, Pavin will announce four Captain’s selections to complete the team.

The Ryder Cup is one of the most spirited, exciting and compelling events in sport—covering nearly 80 years, involving the greatest players in the world and producing some of the greatest moments in the game.

In 2010, the U.S. will face Europe, attempting to become the first American Team to triumph in Europe since 1993. The U.S. regained the Ryder Cup in 2008 after a 15-11 victory at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

European Captain Montgomerie will complete his 12-member Team with three Captain’s selections on Aug. 29.

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