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2010 Ryder Cup
Corey Pavin said he couldn't even begin to describe how happy he is to be named Ryder Cup captain. (Photo: Getty Images)

PGA picks Pavin to captain 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup team

Corey Pavin, a stalwart member of three Ryder Cup teams and a 15-time winner on the PGA Tour, was announced Thursday morning as the captain of the 2010 United States team that will take on the Europeans in the 38th Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

By John L. Byrwa, Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Looking to capture consecutive Ryder Cups for the first time since 1993, The PGA of America has pinned its hopes on the plucky player affectionately nicknamed "the Bulldog."

Corey Pavin, a stalwart member of three Ryder Cup teams and a 15-time winner on the PGA Tour, was announced Thursday morning as the captain of the 2010 United States team that will take on the Europeans in the 38th Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales.

The announcement came during a news conference at Tavern on the Green, the legendary restaurant located across from Central Park in New York City.

Pavin, who at times appeared to get choked up over the enormity of the moment, was clearly moved by the honor as well as the challenge that lies ahead.

"When I received the all from you last month, (my wife) Lisa and I were thrilled beyond words," Pavin said. "I can't even begin to describe how happy we are to be part of this it fantastic event.

"I feel The Ryder Cup is the most dynamic experience a competitive golfer will ever have. I never have been as nervous -- well, maybe today I'm a little nervous -- anxious or focused as when I played in my three Ryder Cup Matches. In other words, it's a lot of fun to play in The Ryder Cup."

Pavin, who compiled a stellar 8-5-0 record during appearances in the 1991, '93 and '95 Ryder Cup matches -- two of them U.S. wins -- and was an assistant captain to Tom Lehman at the 2006 matches at the K Club in Straffan, Ireland, succeeds Paul Azinger, who led an underdog and inexperienced Team USA to a thrilling 16 1/2 - 11 1/2 victory over Team Europe at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., last September. The win was the Americans' first in the biennial matches in nine years, and helped salve the wounds of consecutive 18 1/2 - 9 1/2 losses in 2004 and '06.

"I would like to congratulate Paul on a job very well done and the U.S. players for playing so well," Pavin said. "It was not only fantastic to see us win again, but to see our younger players step up under the ultimate pressure of the Super Bowl of golf, was wonderful to witness. I hope their play will inspire other young players to do the same over the next two years."

With Pavin, who turned 49 on Nov. 16, at the helm, Team USA will be led by a gutsy player who counts among his 27 international titles the 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. Though slightly built at 5 feet, 9 inches tall, Pavin nonetheless established himself as a giant-killer in golf's greatest pressure event.

In his Ryder Cup debut at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C. in 1991, Pavin keyed Team USA's victory in the "War by the Shore" by winning two of three possible points. Then at the Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England, in 1993 -- Team USA's last win on European soil -- Pavin pocketed three more points, including partnering with Lanny Wadkins for first-day wins over Sam Torrance and Mark James, and Bernhard Langer and Barry Lane.

In his finest Ryder Cup performance, at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., Pavin earned four of five points for Team USA, which lost the cup on U.S. soil for just the second time. In Friday's action, he partnered with Lehman to defeat Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie in foursomes, then teamed with Phil Mickelson to down Per-Ulrik Johansson and Bernhard Langer. In Saturday's play, Pavin and Loren Roberts defeated Faldo and Langer in four-balls, and in Sunday's singles he beat Langer 3 and 2.

Pavin, who was born in Oxnard, Calif., resides in Dallas, Texas. His first PGA Tour victory came at the 1984 Houston Coca-Cola Open, his last at the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, Wis.

"It is not only an honor to represent my country as captain, but it is also an honor to represent the PGA of America," Pavin said. "There are 28,000 men and women who are members of the PGA of America that I am pleased to represent as captain of The Ryder Cup. It's a first-class organization and one that I am proud to be affiliated with."
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