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Stop Wailing: Corey Pavin Makes Right Call in Choosing Tiger

Sep 7, 2010 – 4:45 PM
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David Whitley

David Whitley %BloggerTitle%

Corey Pavin

Corey Pavin
talked about gut feelings when it came to picking the Ryder Cup team. A prevalent one on Tuesday was nausea.

Pavin didn't have it, but a lot of people were bent over after hearing that Tiger Woods made the team.

Take some Dramamine and get over it, folks.

Pavin had no choice. Woods earned his way onto the team, and not just because his presence assures that the National Enquirer will stake out the U.S. team hotel.

Tiger was easily one of the four best Americans who failed to qualify based on points. The only reason not to pick him was personal, and Pavin did what coaches in every sport always do.

He went with the player who gives him the best chance to win. If you think J.B. Holmes would do that more than Tiger, allow me to suggest your objective opinion went out the shattered Escalade window about 100 mistresses ago.

I know mine did, and I don't apologize for enjoying Tiger's misery this year. The guy earned it.

I'm not saying forget what Tiger did. And I'm sure not saying forgive. That's up to his ex-wife, not any one of us.

I'm just saying the damage has been done, the divorce is final and the scandal is played out. It's time to move on to the next part of the story, which is how Woods recovers from his personal Armageddon.

The Ryder Cup will be a fascinating entry. Woods has traditionally treated it like Brett Favre treats the preseason. He'll be there if he has to but his heart is back home at the Hattiesburg Perkins.

This new-and-not-improved Tiger will be different. He'll be determined to prove Pavin right. He'll be Mr. Team Camaraderie. I bet he even volunteers to bunk with Phil Mickelson.

And Celtic Manor will be a great place for image rehab. The Europeans are big favorites. Picture a humbled Woods leading the upset charge. What will Earl Woods say about that in the next Nike commercial?

And lest we forget, Tiger Woods is still the only player on earth truly capable of playing like Tiger Woods. Imagine the second-guessing if Pavin didn't take the world's No. 1 player and the U.S. gets waxed?

The perception is Woods has played more like No. 1,001 this season. It's actually closer to No. 31. He has two top-five finishes in majors, and he's steadily improved the past month.

The recently completed Deutsche Bank Championship was the first time he's had three rounds in the 60s. The pressure has been on to advance in the Fed Ex Cup, and Woods has been responding.

Hard to Argue: Corey Pavin used his captain's picks wisely. The main wild card in is not Tiger Woods, but PGA Tour rookie Rickie Fowler. -- Read Mick Elliott That doesn't mean he'll go 6-0 in Wales. But I'll take my chances with him over Charley Hoffman any day.

If you must bust a spleen over the captain's picks, do it over Rickie Fowler. He's a 21-year-old rookie with approximately 71 fewer career wins and 14 fewer majors than Woods. He also hasn't had a top-10 finish in months.

"It came down to a feeling," Pavin said. "I have a good gut feeling about Rickie."

The U.S. captain then denied that he owns stock in the National Enquirer.

Even if Tiger hadn't broken 100 this year, I wanted him on the team plane just for the circus he'll bring. It's already starting. The New York Post had an item Monday about how Newport, Wales, is the hometown of Sarah Symonds.

Tiger WoodsIn case you didn't know, she's the world-famous author of "Having an Affair? A Handbook for the Other Woman." She's also the ex-mistress of famed chef Gordon Ramsay, which you probably also didn't know.

"The world's biggest cheat (may be) coming to the hometown of the world's first and only 'Infidelity Analyst,'" Symonds said.

You just can't get that kind of stuff with Lucas Glover. And don't worry about Woods being a flawed representative of our sporting country.

Those sophisticated Euros love cads like Tiger. Bill Clinton could be elected King of England if they'd let him run.

In his just-released memoirs, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Clinton fell into his Lewinsky trap because he had an "inordinate interest in and curiosity about people."

And all this time I thought Bubba was just a hound.

Whatever the case, Woods has never had an inordinate interest in and curiosity about the Ryder Cup. But this year's event offers redemption on levels Tiger has never known.

That's one reason Pavin picked him. I have a gut feeling we'll be glad he did.
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