Sport Golf

Sunday 25 February 2018

Tiger at centre of heated spat as Ryder Cup captain Pavin labelled 'liar'

Mark Reason and Karl MacGinty

TIGER WOODS was at the centre of a row on the day before the US PGA Championship after a journalist accused America's Ryder Cup captain of being a liar.

Jim Gray of the Golf Channel had reported that Corey Pavin was going to pick Woods, a story that Pavin then denied.

At the end of a feisty news conference Gray went up to Pavin and said: "You're a liar and you're going down." A row ensued, with Gray pointing his finger into Pavin's face. Even Mrs Pavin became involved.

Gray had reported Pavin as saying about Woods: "Of course I'm going to pick him, he's the best golfer in the world." Well, that statement is not true. Other players are queuing up to win because they feel that Woods is far from the planet's best golfer at the moment.

Rory McIlroy believes that he can win this week, but then so does everyone else. At the end of every cart path is another true evangelist who thinks that he will be champion on Sunday night.

In the past Woods was even-money to finish in the top two, with four victories and two second places in 12 US PGA starts. He is now around the 16/1 mark after his wretched performance at Firestone last week.

Meanwhile, European captain Colin Montgomerie pulled Padraig Harrington out of a serious Ryder Cup quandary. Monty has told Harrington and Europe's other FedEx Cup contenders in the US that missing the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles will not stymie their chances of winning a captain's pick.

Harrington had been preparing for an all-or-nothing bid to force his way into the Ryder Cup team at the US PGA.

Yet Montgomerie (above) said last night: "I have more than half my team competing in the FedEx series. It won't affect them either way if they don't happen to be playing at Gleneagles."

Not that Montgomerie was left with a great deal of choice after Harrington, Justin Rose and Paul Casey, three prominent players who have yet to qualify for his team, all stated they'd play in the first of the FedEx Cup play-offs -- the Barclays -- which takes place in the same week as Gleneagles.

Harrington could render all this academic with a top-three finish at Whistling Straits.

Irish Independent

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