“He’s the No. 1 player in the world _ that’s a pretty good ‘pro,’” Pavin said. “Obviously, I’m considering him highly, no doubt about it. He’s‘ playing better. I think we have all seen that. And he wants to play _ he wants to be part of the team. But it’s going to be my judgment whether I pick him or not. I don’t think there are any con’s.”
Four of those players _ Watson, Johnson, Overton and Kuchar _ have never played a Ryder Cup. Stricker and Mahan played the first time two years ago at Valhalla. Overton, meanwhile, became the first American to qualify for the Ryder Cup without having won on the PGA Tour.
“I believe the eight players that have qualified is really going to allow a lot of flexibility for the four picks,” Pavin said. “It’s not just going to be about a type of player. There’s going to be a lot of room for maneuvering.”
Also missing from the list is Anthony Kim, the star of the American victory two years ago. Kim had thumb surgery in May, missed three months and has played poorly in the two tournaments since he returned.
Still, it all centers on Woods.
“I’m very encouraged by the way he played last week,” Pavin said. “He did a lot of good things. One of them may not have been driving the ball, but he grinded hard, he chipped the ball beautifully and putted better. His improvement from the Bridgestone to the PGA Championship was large. And I think he was encouraged by it.”
“I have to evaluate how he’s playing,” Pavin said. “And he has to help me evaluate, just like any other player. If he feels he wants to take himself out of it, then that’s fine. If he feels like he wants to play, then it’s my decision.”