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U.S. Ryder Cup team turns to Bulldog Corey Pavin

December 11, 2008 |  1:30 pm

Corey Pavin shares a laugh with Tiger Woods at the 2006 Ryder Cup

Ever since the European team ended U.S. domination in the Ryder Cup in 1985, the PGA of America has been intent on appointing captains for its teams who take the event seriously.

Paul Azinger did just that effectively in September at Valhalla in Kentucky, when the U.S. team beat Europe for only the second time since 1993.

Now the PGA has turned to Corey Pavin as captain of the 2010 team, which will take on Europe in Wales in two years.

Pavin, nicknamed "Bulldog" while he was on tour for his determined style of play despite small stature, was a member of the U.S. team the last time it won in Europe, in '93. Just how important is the Ryder Cup to the former UCLA player?

"The Ryder Cup is in my blood," he said today. "I think if you cut my arm open, Ryder Cup would just bleed out. It's the greatest event in the world, I think, and certainly the golf world."

There might be some argument about "the greatest event in the world" from a few folks who lean toward, oh, soccer's World Cup ... or the Super Bowl ... or the Olympics ... or the World Series ... or the Masters or U.S. Open, for that matter. But you get the point: Mr. Pavin believes it's a big deal, and that's just fine with the PGA.

--Mike James

Photo: Corey Pavin shares a laugh with Tiger Woods at the 2006 Ryder Cup. Credit: Peter Morrison / AP.