According to Team USA Captain Corey Pavin, "this is when the fun truly begins." (Getty Images)
Captain's Blog: Great excitement preparing for my picks
Following a thrilling PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Team USA Captain Corey Pavin now knows the first eight members of his team. Next comes the trip to New York City, where Pavin will announce his four Captain's Picks. Needless to say, he's more than excited.
Wow -- what an exciting time for golf! After the PGA Championship on August 15th, automatic berths were given to the top eight players. Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Jeff Overton, Dustin Johnson, and Matt Kuchar earned a spot on the 2010 Ryder Cup Team with stellar play throughout the year. My congratulatory wish goes out to each and every one of them. As Captain of this year's Ryder Cup team, I am excited at the mix of youth, experience, aggressiveness and consistency of these players.
My Sunday night directly after the PGA was quite a busy and exciting one. I spent the rest of the evening calling and fielding calls from each of the eight new Ryder Cup team members and officially welcoming them to Team USA. Every single player was excited and eager to represent the United States on Oct. 1-3, 2010 at the Celtic Manor in Wales. After contacting these men, my own level of excitement and focus was even greater, which I didn't think was possible.
The last two weeks, I have been busy with making phone calls (and yes, texting) to all the current and potential candidates in trying to find the four best remaining players to complete the 12-man 2010 Ryder Cup Team. Along with contacting the current and potential candidates, this time has also allowed me to continue to contact past Ryder Cup Captains for their input as well. This is the part of being Captain that I have been waiting for with great anticipation, since the PGA's appointment, on Dec. 11, 2008. To me, this is when the fun truly begins.
My Assistant Captains -- Paul Goydos, Davis Love III, Tom Lehman, and Jeff Sluman -- have been very helpful as we navigate through the remaining top 20 players trying to determine the four additions to the team.
I have been watching a lot of golf on TV (thanks to DVR), have met and talked to several players already on the team, and I'm leaving Wednesday morning for the Deutsche Bank Championship, where I will spend a couple of hours with the guys, maybe buy them dinner and drinks ... for the ones that are of age, of course.
From Boston, I will travel down to New York City to meet my wife and daughter for Labor Day weekend. Hopefully, my wife, Lisa, and I can somewhat relax, take it easy, and spend some quality time with our daughter, Alexis, and our newly "adopted" daughter, Susan Elizabeth, during the Holiday weekend.
Lisa, herself, has been tirelessly working on details for Team USA for the past 12-15 months and I think she may need a longer time to relax than just the three-day weekend we have ahead of us (just a little hunch!).
Although, she did just remind me that we do have to practice again, "Pitching at least 60 feet away," she keeps saying, "We're not in Little League anymore -- you've got 14 more feet to cover!" So much for relaxing!! You see, she's in total paranoia because on Tues., September 7, I will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for her favorite baseball team -- the New York Yankees. She is determined that I don't bounce the ball in front of the plate, throw it over the catcher's head, anything that will embarrass her in front of "her boys" as she calls them.
After our weekend practice, we will meet with the officers of the PGA of America, Susan Martin and Julius Mason from the PGA Headquarters. Monday night, Sept. 6, my Assistant Captains and I will all get together, have a great dinner (with the exception of Jeff Sluman, who will hopefully be able to teleconference us from South Korea) and have a meeting of the minds to make the final determination of who will round out Team USA.
These picks will be very important for the 2010 United States Ryder Cup team so the evening may very well last into the wee hours. One thing I know for sure: This will be a very difficult evening. I wish I could take the top 20 players to Celtic Manor with me but, unfortunately, I cannot. I can only take 12 players -- with four of those still yet to be determined.
Fans, friends, and family, I am determined to take the 12 BEST players to Celtic Manor to win and retain the Ryder Cup Trophy and make our country, the United States of America, proud.
Looking forward to a great Ryder Cup,