Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Golf: Pavin Expects Tough Defence; Ryder Cup Skipper Knows Wales Task Won't Be Easy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Golf: Pavin Expects Tough Defence; Ryder Cup Skipper Knows Wales Task Won't Be Easy

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON LEWIS

COREY Pavin began his tenure as American Ryder Cup captain by insisting his team would defend the trophy in 2010 as underdogs, writes SIMON LEWIS.

Pavin, 49, will lead the Americans at Celtic Manor in Wales. He succeeds Paul Azinger, who regained the trophy for the US after three consecutive defeats when his unfancied side beat Nick Faldo's European team 16-11 at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky, in September.

The new captain was unveiled at a press conference in a Manhattan restaurant yesterday, and charged by PGA of America president Jim Remy with the task of retaining the Samuel Ryder Trophy for the first time since 1993, the last time a US side won on European soil, at The Belfry.

"We have given him one mission, and one mission only, to keep The Ryder Cup on American soil," Remy said. "We understand that won't be easy. It won't be an easy task, certainly heading off to Wales."

Pavin underlined the point, saying that going to Wales would make retaining the trophy extremely difficult.

"I can thank Paul (Azinger) and the US team for giving me an extra half a point to work with when we go over to Celtic Manor in Wales," Pavin said. "That may be valuable, it's nice to have a little cushion there.

"But you know, going over there, it's going to be so different. In Louisville we had fans that were crazy cheering for the Americans. Going over there, we are going to have very pro-European crowd, and it's going to be tough. It's going to be a very difficult challenge.

"On the other hand, we have a winning team. We have had a winning team, but I still look at it as we are underdogs when we go over there. We are going to be on foreign soil. It will be 17 years by the time we get there, the last time we won a Ryder Cup (overseas).

"There will be a lot of challenges and I look forward to looking those right in the eye and tackling them."

Pavin who served as an assistant captain to Tom Lehman at the K Club in 2006, had been a team member at The Belfry in 1993, his second of three consecutive Ryder Cup appearances in which won eight and lost five of his 13 matches. …

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