Sunday 8 December 2019

Hunter the hustler wants to trash-talk

With 50,000 spectators filing through the gates of Celtic Manor each day, US captain Corey Pavin's dream is not to hear a single cheer. "Quiet would be good," he said.

That would mean his team is winning. Perhaps he should have a word with Hunter Mahan.

The 28-year-old from Orange, California has his own plan. He likes noise. Lots of it.

"I love that edgy atmosphere with the spectators almost being like a football crowd," Mahan said. "You know, you almost want the crowd to boo us."

Mahan has a reputation as a hustler on tour, too, playing money games in practice rounds. And he's not afraid to play hardball in competition, too.

"In certain situations, it's fun to trash-talk," he said. "Sometimes I wish I was good at basketball because that sport is so one-on-one.

"You just look at the guy in front of you and work out how to beat him. I love that it's mano-a-mano.

"That's why it's great when we play match play. I love it. I wish we would play more."

Pavin nearly fell off his chair when he heard. Mahan speaks softly, but behind his wraparound shades, there's clearly a cold-blooded gunslinger. Think David Duval meets Dirty Harry.

  • Caterers have, err, catered for 20,000 portions of fish & chips, 15,000 burgers, 7,000 pies, 5,000 steak baguettes, 40,000 sandwiches, 55,000 breakfast rolls, 5,000 bottles of champagne, 132,000 pints of beer, 10,000 bottles of wine, 1,500kg of Welsh cheeses...and 30,000 toilet rolls.

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