Regardless of the outcome of the 2010 Ryder Cup, captains Colin Montgomerie (left) and Corey Pavin vow to remain close friends. (Photo: Getty Images)
Monty, Pavin acknowledge both keen competition, friendship
While each will work tirelessly to lead their respective teams to victory at The 2010 Ryder Cup, captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin have vowed to maintain a heartfelt friendship.
CITY OF NEWPORT, Wales -- Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin may be rival Captains for The 2010 Ryder Cup and equally determined to win Samuel Ryder's gold trophy, but that will not stand in the way of their friendship on and off the course, both declared at the "Year to Go" celebration October 12.
The two men who will lead Europe and the United States respectively over The Twenty Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort, City of Newport, Wales, in little under a year from now were both completely relaxed and enjoying the occasion as The 2010 Ryder Cup was brought firmly into focus.
During nine holes of greensomes alongside celebrities Chris Evans, of BBC Radio 2, and Bryn Terfel, the Welsh opera star, which fittingly ended as a halved match, the camaraderie and mutual respect between the two Captains was obvious. But this was as relaxed a Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin as you are ever likely to see on a golf course and how different would the relationship be a year from now in the Ryder Cup cauldron?
Montgomerie was quick to stress that no matter how competitive the contest may become, they will remain firm friends. "We were friends before we were made Captains of our respective Ryder Cup teams and will remain so," he said. "Of course, this is not an exhibition match. This is a highly competitive competition, and the more competitive it is and the more passion that is brought to it, just fuels people watching and viewing The Ryder Cup. But Corey and I will remain good friends before, during and after."
Pavin acknowledged both player's competitive edge, indeed each highlighted that as the other's strength, but he too stressed that The Ryder Cup was about friendship. "Colin and I are both very competitive, and we have played Ryder Cup matches against each other, and we both understand how it works. We are friends, and we do things together off the course and have dinners and talk but once they say 'On the tee,' it changes into a very competitive match and nature.
"We can go around and we can talk to each other during a match or we can say nothing to each other during a match. It doesn't matter; we are out there trying to beat each other's brains in out there and do the best we can and win our matches.
But when it's all said and done, we shake hands on the final green and say well done, and go on, and that's what The Ryder Cup is about. It's a competition amongst friends, and we are friends before, we are friends after, and we are kind of friends during, but it's a little quieter friendship at that time."
The two Captains were brought together to mark the "Year to Go" for The 2010 Ryder Cup. From October 1-3 next year the best golfers from Europe and America will go head to head in front of tens of thousands of spectators, and millions of television viewers, with Europe looking to regain the trophy after defeat at Valhalla last year and the US team looking to secure their first win on European soil since 1993.
The match will undoubtedly be closely fought but this was a time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere, not to mention the glorious sunshine in this part of Wales.
Pavin was certainly enjoying his stay at The Celtic Manor Resort and the hospitality from the owner, Sir Terry Matthews. "Thank you, Sir Terry, for great hospitality here at Celtic Manor once again," he said. "We had a wonderful time when we were here in June, and again, the hospitality is fantastic, thank you very much.
"I would just like to say that we had a fun day out there on the golf course -- good fun, a good kickoff to start the year-to-go function today. Halved match, it was good. We enjoyed it and it's going to be a very fun dinner tonight. The golf course looked pretty much the shape as it did in June, I believe, and in great shape. I'm very much looking forward to coming back here in a year and hopefully leading our team to victory. I'm sure Colin is going to try to do the same thing. I think we are going to have a fantastic competition and it looks like it's going to shape up to be extremely competitive, extremely close, and thank you for having us here today."
Montgomerie added: "I thank Corey and our friends from the PGA, thank you for coming all that way from San Francisco, it's a long way to Wales, and I must also thank Sir Terry for his hospitality. Throughout this course since I was announced Captain back in February, he has been nothing but a great host every time we've been down here. So thank you so much, and we look forward to everybody coming down here in a year's time, and enjoying your fantastic resort that we have here today.
"To everybody that was associated with today's golf, we thank you. To Bryn Terfel, and also to my partner, Chris Evans, delighted, we'll see more of them and hear more of them this evening, that they did a marvellous job on a super golf course that was in great condition. And we just look forward to the weather being as similar as it was today in a years' time. We all look forward to coming back here for as Corey so rightly said, some great, exciting matches and a close Ryder Cup."