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Ryder Cup 2010: McIlroy may face Woods backlash - Pavin

38th Ryder Cup
Venue: Celtic Manor, Newport Date: 1-3 October Starts: 0745 BST on Friday Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live & online, live text commentary online & daily highlights on BBC TWO. Live on Sky Sports 1

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McIlroy may regret Woods jibe - Pavin

US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin believes Rory McIlroy could come to regret his comments about Tiger Woods when the competition starts on Friday.

McIlroy, 21, said world number one Woods had lost his aura after his much-publicised personal problems.

"I think other people have said things like that to Tiger in the past and have maybe regretted it," said Pavin.

"I know Tiger is aware of the comment. If they do play against each other I think it would be quite entertaining."

The most famous incident of Woods being provoked came at the 2006 World Match Play in California when Canadian Stephen Ames, Woods' first-round opponent, said he fancied his chances, "especially where he's hitting the ball".

The next day Woods won the first nine holes, seven of them with birdies, and sealed the match on the 10th.

I don't know if they (McIlroy and Woods) will play against each other - we'll just have to see where the cards fall - but I think it would be fun for me to watch, I'd enjoy it

Corey Pavin

Asked how he had reacted to Ames' comments and whether it had lit a fire in him Woods smiled and said: "9 and 8!"

In another incident, at the 2000 Presidents Cup, Vijay Singh's caddie wore a cap that had "Tiger Who?" written on it.

The pair met in the singles and after recording victory on the 17th hole and being asked about the cap Woods replied: "2 and 1".

Pavin added: "I think anything that gets players fired up is always a positive thing for the player who is getting fired up.

"I don't know if [McIlroy and Woods] will play against each other, we'll just have to see where the cards fall, but I think it would be fun for me to watch. I'd enjoy it. I don't know about you guys."

Pavin and European counterpart Colin Montgomerie hand in their line-ups separately, but Pavin was asked whether they should get together on this one.

"I don't think there's any possibility of that," he said. "I don't think it's in the spirit of what the Ryder Cup is all about and the way the pairings are supposed to happen.

606: DEBATE
Alan Harris

"It would be by chance, or if either of us guessed right on what we wanted to accomplish."

There are clear indications that Montgomerie will lead off with McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in Friday's opening fourballs.

So if Pavin sends Woods out first - as happened under Curtis Strange at The Belfry in 2002, Hal Sutton at Oaklands Hills in 2004 and Tom Lehman the K Club in 2006 - it would almost certainly be because he and the player himself want a clash with McIlroy.

Pressed on possibly 'fixing' it Pavin added: "I don't know if it's really against the rules, but I think it's just against kind of what golf stands for. I just don't think it would be the right thing to do."

And on whether he and Montgomerie had a responsibility to provide the paying public with what they most want to see he stated: "I think there are 12 players on each team that are pretty darned good.

"Whatever match comes out it is going to be well worth the price of admission.

McIlroy 'upset' after Tiger comments - Montgomerie

"When I've spoken to Tiger we haven't talked about order or anything like that. All he wants is the same thing - to win. That's what we are all here for and that's all really he's expressed to me in that regard."

Woods' team-mate Phil Mickleson denied there was any needle between the world number one and McIlroy, saying: "They get along great, are you kidding me? Rory is one of the nicest guys on tour and he is as classy as they come."

Meanwhile, Bubba Watson was close to tears as he told reporters he wanted to win the Ryder Cup for his his father, who is suffering from cancer and has been given three months to live.



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see also
Ballesteros inspires Europe team
29 Sep 10 |  Golf
Ryder Cup 2010: Wednesday photos
29 Sep 10 |  Golf
McIlroy stands by Woods comments
29 Sep 10 |  Golf
Harrington 'best' in Cup practice
28 Sep 10 |  Golf
Fans will respect us, says Pavin
28 Sep 10 |  Golf
Ryder Cup 2010: Tuesday photos
28 Sep 10 |  Golf
Woods switches focus to Ryder Cup
13 Sep 10 |  Golf


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