Pavin said he had selected Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Jeff Sluman and Paul Goydos.
About the only assistant not considered a surprise was Lehman, one of Pavin’s closest friends. Lehman was the Ryder Cup captain in Ireland in 2006 and chose Pavin as one of his assistants.
The big surprise was Goydos, although the announcement brought a thumbs-up from Phil Mickelson.
“That’ll be cool,” Mickelson said.
Goydos said his only Ryder Cup experience has been watching on TV. Even so, he is among the most popular PGA Tour players in the locker room because of his dry wit and honest opinions.
“It came down to me and Brett Favre,” Goydos said.
That was in response to one question about Michael Jordan, whom Fred Couples brought along at the Presidents Cup in September. Even as Pavin pointed out that Goydos had no Ryder Cup experience, Goydos chimed in, “I have as much as Michael Jordan.”
Pavin thought the lack of experience would be an advantage.
“He is unconventional, thinks outside the box, and is an excellent judge of character and talent,” Pavin said.
The Ryder Cup will be Oct. 1-3 in Wales. The United States is the defending champion after beating Europe at Valhalla in 2008.
Sluman is a former PGA champion who never made a Ryder Cup team, but has plenty of experience. He was the assistant to Jack Nicklaus three straight years in the Presidents Cup and had a heavy influence in most decisions.
Love was somewhat of a surprise because at 45, the 20-time PGA Tour winner still hopes to make the team for the first time since 2004. He is expected to be a Ryder Cup captain, perhaps as early as 2012 in Medinah.
“Corey asked me a couple of months ago to consider it, and I said, ‘I’ll consider trying to make the team,”’ Love said. “The more we thought about it and talked about it, it’s the best of both worlds. I get to try to make the team, and if I don’t make the team, I still get to go. I think it’s an honor for me to be in this group.”
European captain Colin Montgomerie has yet to announce his assistant captains.