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Europe are favourites to win Ryder Cup - Corey Pavin

The US team celebrate in 1993
Pavin's players are hoping to match Tom Watson's 1993 US team

United States skipper Corey Pavin believes his team will be the underdogs when they face Europe in next month's Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

Pavin's side are bidding to land the trophy for the first time in Europe since winning at the Belfry in 1993.

"Given the advantage of playing over in Europe, I think that gives the edge to the European team," said Pavin.

The US ended a run of three successive defeats with an emphatic victory at Valhalla in Kentucky two years ago.

"Travelling is always difficult and the fans will be a big part of it: 80-85% are going to be pro-European, " added the American captain.

"We're competing on a golf course that is played on their tour so the European players are familiar with the venue. And Monty (European captain Colin Montgomerie) gets to set up the golf course the way he wants to as well.

"We haven't won on foreign soil since 1993 so it's going to be a challenge but I think the teams themselves are very comparable. I am looking forward to a pretty good battle."

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Since the Ryder Cup began in 1927, teams playing away from home have been victorious on 11 occasions with only three of those by Europe - the last being in Michigan in 2004. Two were drawn in 1969 and 1989.

However, it is 17 years since the American golfers have tasted Ryder Cup success on their travels when Tom Watson guided his team to a 15-13 victory over Bernard Gallacher's players.

Pavin, who won the US Open in 1995, believes the demands of competing in a Ryder Cup are far greater than a major.

"The Ryder Cup has a lot more pressure," said the 50-year-old, who secured his only major five years ago at Shinnecock by hitting a nerveless four wood to within five feet on the 72nd hole.

"I've hit a very important shot on the last hole of a US Open. Was I nervous? Yes, I was certainly nervous.

"Was I more nervous playing in a Ryder Cup, maybe coming down the 18th hole? By far. It's not even a comparison."

Pavin feels a major part of his job will be helping his 12-man team, which includes world number one and wild card Tiger Woods, cope with these extra pressures of the competition that takes places on 1-3 October.

"That's what is the most fun for me playing at the Ryder Cup, controlling my emotions and getting the most out of my game under the most trying conditions," he said.

"I hope to bring a calmness to the guys on my team. This is an event where emotions run high and I want the guys to be calm yet focused. They will be nervous, which is great.

"I just have to make sure some of the guys kind of tone it down a little bit because they are going to be so fired up."

With Woods having secured one of the four wild card choices, Pavin revealed he was delighted to have the 14-time major champion on his side, despite him not having won a tournament this year.

"I have always wanted to have him on the team but I want guys that are playing well and he's starting to play well. I am glad to have him," said Pavin, who revealed he was edging closer to deciding what his pairings would be.

"He is the number one player in the world and when Tiger's on his game, he is the best."



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see also
Harrington wary over Woods impact
17 Sep 10 |  Golf
Westwood sure over Ryder fitness
15 Sep 10 |  Golf
Woods switches focus to Ryder Cup
13 Sep 10 |  Golf
Woods named in US Ryder Cup team
07 Sep 10 |  Golf
Molinari earns European wildcard
29 Aug 10 |  Golf
US Ryder Cup team profiles
07 Sep 10 |  Golf
European Ryder Cup team profiles
29 Aug 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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