There’s little chance U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin would ever admit to pulling a page from 2008 skipper Paul Azinger’s winning book, but if Tuesday’s practice rounds in Wales were any indication Pavin was at least paying attention to Azinger’s “pod” system.
On Tuesday at Celtic Manor Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker – an easy pairing given the duo’s 4-0 week at last year’s Presidents Cup – Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson played together.
While Phil Mickelson, who has become something of a cup mentor in recent years, went out with rookies Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler; and veterans Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink played with rookies Matt Kuchar and Jeff Overton.
“(Azinger) made it so easy,” Mahan said last week at East Lake. “It was like, this is what you’re doing so when you did go out with someone in a match it was like a morning practice round. You just felt comfortable.”
Just don’t expect to hear Pavin talking about pods when the week is over.