(From left) Team Europe captain Colin Montgomerie with his assistants Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley. (Getty Images)
Pavin applauds Monty's selections for assistant captains
Team USA captain Corey Pavin said that Colin Montgomerie's choices of Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley as his assistant captains for Team Europe "are all good selections" and "he obviously picked those who could help him."
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Corey Pavin, busy himself this week while preparing to compete in the Senior British Open at always-rugged Carnoustie, Scotland, got another wake-up reminder Tuesday that the 38th Ryder Cup is just around the corner.
Pavin's counterpart, European Captain Colin Montgomerie, named Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley as assistants for the 2010 European Ryder Cup Team. Montgomerie's aides have competed in 10 Ryder Cups, bringing the necessary experience to the European Team in its bid to regain the Ryder Cup, Oct. 1-3, at The Celtic Manor Resort near Newport, Wales.
"I think that they are all good selections, and that Colin had a lot of names to choose from to work with him," said Pavin following practice at Carnoustie. "He obviously picked those who could help him."
Pavin's four assistants, who were announced on Feb. 3 -- Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Jeff Sluman and Paul Goydos -- own a combined nine Ryder Cup appearances, with Lehman leading the last U.S. Team (2006) to compete in Europe.
"Colin must be quite a bit smarter to only have three," said Pavin. "I'm not quite as smart. Each of us are going to do what we think is best, and I picked four because I wanted to have an assistant captain walking with each group in the four matches the first two days and to keep an eye on things."
Pavin emphasized his importance of a core of assistants in a Ryder Cup.
"I think that it helps a lot to have assistants on whom you can rely for advice," said Pavin. "During Ryder Cup week, there are many demands upon your time, and you will need assistants to do many of the little things that are necessary to the welfare of your team.
"Those same assistants must also be able to relate to the players. The whole dynamic involves you being able to relate to the caddies, wives, The PGA of America as well."
With less than 10 weeks before the Ryder Cup, Pavin said that he is well aware of the challenge before the United States in retaining the Cup.
"I think that Europe always has an excellent team, and certainly many of its potential players have distinguished themselves very well over the past few months. We do have our work cut out for us. I also think that the United States side will be strong as well.
"We don't know yet who the automatic eight will be for us, but we will be getting that indication in the next few weeks."
Though Pavin duels against players 50-and-older this week at Carnoustie, he said that he has kept a visit to the 92nd PGA Championship, Aug. 9-15, at Whistling Straits, in Kohler, Wis., foremost in his mind.
"I've been thinking a long time about the PGA Championship, where many players will be working hard to make the team," Pavin said. "The top four [currently Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Anthony Kim] are pretty much locked in, but the remaining four spots are up for grabs. I expect a lot of movement in the next four weeks."
Following the PGA Championship, which will determine the eight automatic berths for the U.S Team, Pavin will announce four Captain's selections on Sept. 7.
Montgomerie's three Captain's selections will be made on Aug. 29, following the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, Scotland.
"There are a lot of good players who will be out to make a move," said Pavin of the remaining battle for Ryder Cup berths. "I anticipate that we will come out with a great 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 be 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.
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