Captain Corey Pavin wants Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to tee it up at Ryder Cup host Celtic Manor for Wales Open
Recently named Ryder Cup Captain for the American team Corey Pavin is already trying to push his weight around a little - all 110 pounds or so of it. He’s calling on his two top-ranked American players to participate in next month’s Wales Open on the European Tour at Ryder Cup host Celtic Manor.
From BBC Sport:
“Anybody who is going to be on the team, I would love them to get over to Wales to check out the Celtic Manor course,” said Pavin.
“I expect both Phil and Tiger will be on the team so I’d be more than happy to see them at the Celtic Manor beforehand. If not in a tournament then for a practice, although to play in Wales Open would be even better because they would be able to play the Ryder Cup gold course in a tournament mode. It’s always good to see and get accustomed to the golf course before, in whatever form it takes. If they don’t it’s not the end of the world, it would certainly be better if they did play the Wales Open before the Ryder Cup.”
In my opinion, nothing short of a nice, seven-figure appearance fee is going to get these guys to Wales anytime before the Ryder Cup. It’s quite possible they could come sneak in a low-key practice round sometime before next fall, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
Tim Finchem has called on the PGA Tour’s top-ranked players to play more events in 2009 in order to please some sponsors, who are on the fence about renewing their contracts. Mickelson has also done a little saber-rattling, suggesting he would begin competing more on the European Tour in spite of the FedEx Cup system and in favor of the new European Tour Race for Dubai.
The Wales Open also begins on June 4th, the same date as Jack Nicklaus’ prestigious Memorial Tournament in Ohio.
As of now, it doesn’t appear Woods or Mickelson are going to be playing in any more events than their usual schedule. Woods did recently announce he’d be competing in the Australian Open later this year, but that was for an appearance fee estimated around $3 million. While Wales would no doubt love the publicity of a Tiger sighting sometime before the Ryder Cup, they should just be happy if his knee holds up and he’s healthy come next fall.
I played Celtic Manor’s Twenty Ten Course a couple summers ago, fresh off it’s redesign and addition of new holes. What I remember about the day is that almost every hole is lined with thick heather. It can also play as long as 7,500 yards, so hopefully Woods has straightened out his tee ball a bit by then.
It’s also the kind of course that can bait you into trying some pretty risky stuff, thanks to a few holes where you can take really aggressive lines off the tee - stuff Mickelson in particular would probably not be able to restrain himself from. Advantage Euros.
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