Pavin not concerned about Woods passion for Ryder Cup

By Associated PressSeptember 18, 2010, 3:41 am
Ryder Cup

LOS ANGELES – Corey Pavin has no concerns about Tiger Woods’ passion for Ryder Cup play, even if he doesn’t choose the world’s top player for every match next month in Wales.

Pavin praised Woods’ talent and teamwork Friday while discussing his final preparations for the Ryder Cup, which will be held Oct. 1-3. The U.S. captain also realizes everybody will be watching Woods, who could rebound from a mediocre season on tour and a nightmare year in his personal life with a strong performance for his country.

“We’ve talked about how many times he wants to play,” Pavin said. “He said, ‘I want to play five matches.’ We talked about him not playing as many, and he said, ‘Whatever’s best for the team.''

Pavin selected Woods 10 days ago as a captain’s pick. Woods missed the 2008 competition while recovering from knee surgery, but is eager to play – despite occasional questions in the past about his motivation and results in international team play.

“He’s more than ready,” Pavin said. “When he’s there, he’s 100 percent there. I think people maybe look at his record and come to some conclusion from that. Just because he doesn’t have a winning record in the Ryder Cup doesn’t mean he’s not fully committed to it.”

Pavin believes his Americans are underdogs against a powerful European team that has more familiarity with the course built specifically for the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, the site of the European Tour’s Wales Open for the past three years. He expects European captain Colin Montgomerie to add tweaks to the course to negate the U.S. team’s few advantages, perhaps countering the Americans’ greater power off the tee with additional rough at about 280 yards.

“That’s what I’d do if I were him,” Pavin said, laughing.

Pavin has spent plenty of time poring over possible pairings in the past several weeks, but wasn’t ready to reveal any decisions. He got a list of preferred partners from each player, but hasn’t promised he’ll stick to them.

“I didn’t see any surprises,” Pavin said, noting every player suggested at least three potential partners. “There might be surprises in there for the fans, but I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.”

Pavin is aware of Woods’ past success playing with Steve Stricker, who teamed with Tiger to win all four of their team segments least year in the Presidents Cup in San Francisco, and Jim Furyk – the only other player on the U.S. roster who has a winning record as Woods’ partner.

“I did notice that,” Pavin said coyly of Stricker’s success with Woods. “I noticed a lot of things. It’s important to look back at the history of who has played where, but it’s not the only factor.”

After serving as an assistant captain four years ago, Pavin is relishing his chance to run the team. He has consulted with several CEOs and a handful of coaches – Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics, former Lakers executive Jerry West, Texas football coach Mack Brown and UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland – about motivation, management and overall athlete psychology.

With the help of his four assistant captains, Pavin is planning a low-key, entertaining week for his players, hoping to keep their minds off the pressure.

“Emotions run high during a Ryder Cup week for everybody, and you have to be very aware of your emotional level,” Pavin said. “There’s a drain emotionally on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and you have to be ready to go Thursday.”

Pavin will be in Atlanta on Wednesday for a team meeting before the Tour Championship, but he’ll go home to Dallas for the weekend before returning to Atlanta to catch Sunday’s charter flight to Cardiff with his team.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.