Corey Pavin says it would violate the spirit of the Ryder Cup to make a deal ensuring Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy would meet in a singles final.
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That doesn’t mean the American captain wouldn’t like to see the match that has been the buzz of the event ever since the young Northern Irish sensation said he would like a shot at Woods.
”We’ll just have to see where the cards fall, but I think it would be fun for me to watch,” Pavin said Wednesday. ”I’d enjoy it.”
The singles matches are made in a blind draw, but Pavin was asked whether he and European captain Colin Montgomerie might make a side agreement to match Woods and McIlroy in the singles finals scheduled for Sunday.
”I don’t think it’s in the spirit of what the Ryder Cup is all about and the way pairings are supposed to happen,” he said. ”But it would be by chance, or if either of us wanted to guess and guess right.”
Woods welcomed the challenge a day earlier, answering ”Me, too” when asked about McIlroy’s comments that he would like to go up against the best player in the world. McIlroy made the comments in August at a time Woods was struggling to avoid finishing last at the Bridgestone Invitational.
Pavin noted that others who have challenged Woods in the past haven’t fared too well.
”I think other people have said things like that to Tiger in the past and have maybe regretted it,” he said. ”I think anything that gets players fired up is always a positive thing for that player who is getting fired up.”
McIlroy said a day earlier that he respected Woods and thought he would return to being a dominant player. But he also said the days of other players being intimidated by Woods may be over.
”I suppose a little bit of that aura is probably gone,” McIlroy said.
Pavin’s remarks came on a rainy day that cut practice short for both teams at Celtic Manor. Most players were only playing nine holes.