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Page last updated at 06:10 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 07:10 UK

Woods urged to make Ryder recce

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are the top two players in the world

United States skipper Corey Pavin has urged Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to play the Wales Open before the course hosts next year's Ryder Cup.

Pavin will embark on a Ryder Cup reconnaissance mission to check out the Celtic Manor's Twenty Ten course when he plays in the Wales Open in June.

And Pavin told the BBC: "I'd certainly encourage guys who maybe on the US team to come over and play the Wales Open."

European captain Colin Montgomerie will go head-to-head with Pavin in Newport.

Pavin, the 1995 US Open champion, will be the first US PGA Tour star to play at the Celtic Manor event when the four-day Wales Open begins on 4 June.

Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Anthony Kim and world number six Kenny Perry are also in line to be in Pavin's United States team when they defend their Ryder Cup crown in September 2010.

The 38th Ryder Cup is the first to be played on a course specifically designed for golf's showpiece matchplay event.

And Pavin wants world number one Woods and the rest of his team to follow him to the Celtic Manor.

Corey Pavin
I expect both Phil and Tiger will be in the team so I'd be more than happy to see them at the Celtic Manor beforehand

US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin

"Anybody who is going to be on the team, I would love them to get over to Wales to check out the Celtic Manor course," he added.

"I expect both Phil and Tiger will be in the team so I'd be more than happy to see them at the Celtic Manor beforehand.

"If not in a tournament then for a practice, although to play in Wales Open would be even better because they would be able to play the Ryder Cup gold course in a tournament mode.

"It's always good to see and get accustomed to the golf course before, in whatever form it takes.

"If they don't it's not the end of the world, it would certainly be better if they did play the Wales Open before the Ryder Cup."

Woods, a 14-time major winner, is golf's biggest box office name and such is his X factor draw, Wales Open chiefs could expect a sell-out if the iconic American did announce his desire to make his Celtic Manor debut before next year's Ryder Cup.

The Wales Open has attracted big-name Europeans such as Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Miguel Angel Jiminez and Ian Poulter as well as major winners like Retief Goosen Michael Campbell.

But Pavin is the first big-name American.

The 49-year-old is the 26th US captain and will lead an American team which won the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1999 at Valhalla last year.

606: DEBATE

He will also attempt to become the first US captain since Tom Watson at The Belfry in 1993 to lead a team to victory on European soil.

Pavin, the 1991 US PGA Tour leading money winner who was in the world top ten between 1986 and 1997, will make his Celtic Manor bow on his first trip to Wales.

"I'm excited about playing in Wales as I was want to check out the golf course and the facilities," he added.

"It is a reconnaissance trip to go over things at hotel to ensure everything is done nicely for my team.

"I've seen pictures on the course; there's plenty of water and it seems the final holes will be interesting for matchplay but I want to see the course for real.

"I want to work out the likely matchplay pin-placements for the Ryder Cup and get some insight on how the rough will be cut and at what height so I can work out what type of players will work out best on that golf course.

"I won't need to tell my guys how to play the Celtic Manor course, but I can't advise if I don't know myself."



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see also
Montgomerie seeks Ryder wildcards
29 Apr 09 |  Golf
Ryder captains set for Wales Open
27 Apr 09 |  Golf
Montgomerie criticised by Woosnam
07 Apr 09 |  Golf
Casey backs Montgomerie captaincy
29 Jan 09 |  Golf
Monty to lead Europe at Ryder Cup
28 Jan 09 |  Golf
Montgomerie relishing captaincy
28 Jan 09 |  Golf
Pavin named US Ryder Cup captain
11 Dec 08 |  Golf
US secure emphatic Ryder Cup win
21 Sep 08 |  Golf


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