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Pavin named US Ryder Cup captain

Corey Pavin alongside the Ryder Cup trophy
Pavin won the US Open in 1995

Corey Pavin has been confirmed as the United States Ryder Cup captain for the 2010 contest at Celtic Manor in Wales.

The 49-year-old former US Open champion replaces Paul Azinger, who led the team to a 16½-11½ victory over Europe at Valhalla in September.

An emotional Pavin said: "The Ryder Cup is in my blood. It is the greatest event in the world, certainly in golf."

The US has not won in Europe since The Belfry in 1993, one of three Ryder Cups in which Pavin appeared as a player.

He was also an assistant to captain Tom Lehman at the K Club in Ireland two years ago, when the US lost 18½-9½.

Pavin's selection follows an unsuccessful attempt by US players to persuade Azinger to carry on in the role, having guided them to their first victory in the biennial event since 1999.

When Azinger took over he persuaded the USPGA to revamp the qualification process to base it exclusively on money earned, with more weight on the four majors.

He was also given authority to make four personal picks for the 12-member team.

Pavin's Ryder Cup debut was at Kiawah Island in 1991 when he controversially joined Steve Pate in wearing a "Desert Storm" cap during a match that became so heated it was known as "The War on the Shore."

Talking in New York on Friday, Pavin congratulated his predecessor Azinger on a job "very well done" and said he was very excited.

Reflecting on his debut, he added: "Listening to the national anthem, experiencing the pressure for the first time, watching the last match between Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer, and throwing captain Dave Stockton into the ocean, cemented my love for the Ryder Cup in my blood for ever.

"I knew I wanted to play as many as possible and dreamt of becoming captain one day, today my dream has come true."

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Pavin revealed he already had a few ideas about strategies and would be developing these over the next two years.

"Playing on foreign soil brings a whole new set of challenges," he added. "They will be able to set up Celtic Manor how they like and will have a passionate crowd on their side.

"I was proud to be part of the last winning team on foreign soil in 1993 and I encourage American fans to book tickets now to come and support us."

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter believes the PGA of America was in search of a similar character to Azinger, describing Pavin as a "passionate supporter of the American Ryder Cup cause".

"Pavin brings a very similar outlook," Carter told BBC Radio 5 Live. "He was Lehman's vice-captain at the K Club and saw the demands of an away match first hand. His task is to build on Azinger's legacy."

Europe are set to name their skipper in 2009, with former Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal the favourite to get the job.



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see also
In-depth interview - Corey Pavin
11 Dec 08 |  Golf
No Ryder Cup repeat for Azinger
08 Dec 08 |  Golf
Love wants to play in Ryder Cup
24 Sep 08 |  Golf
Azinger backs beaten rival Faldo
22 Sep 08 |  Golf
Westwood points finger at Azinger
22 Sep 08 |  Golf
Jubilant Azinger praises US crowd
21 Sep 08 |  Golf
US secure emphatic Ryder Cup win
21 Sep 08 |  Golf
Trouble down the years
18 Sep 02 |  Ryder Cup


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