Ryder Cup talk about Tiger gets heated

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin (left) denied a report that he'd definitely pick Tiger Woods. European captain Colin Montgomerie said he would if he could.

HAVEN, Wis. --- The confusing case of Tiger Woods and the Ryder Cup grew acrimonious Wednesday.


Here's the updated scorecard.

Woods said Tuesday he would accept a captain's pick if necessary and offered.

U.S. captain Corey Pavin said he did not tell LeBron James' pet reporter Jim Gray that he will definitely pick Woods if necessary.

Gray publicly stuck a finger in Pavin's chest, calling him a liar and saying he was "going down."

European captain Colin Montgomerie said that he absolutely would pick the world's No. 1 player if he were in the American's Foot-Joys.

Any clearer?

In a sometimes tense and sometimes amusing news conference Wednesday with the Ryder Cup captains, Woods was the top talking point once Monty shut down discussion of rumors regarding his own private life.

Pavin tried to set the record straight about what he didn't say to Gray, who reported that Pavin assured him in a conversation Tuesday that Woods would be on the team. Pavin said on his Twitter account Wednesday morning he was misquoted .

"Let's straighten this out right now," Pavin said. "I had a conversation with Jim Gray yesterday just outside the locker room near where we registered and he asked me a few questions and his interpretation of what I said is incorrect.

"There's nobody that's promised any picks right now. It would be disrespectful to everybody that's trying to make the team. I've got quite a few people I'm looking at. I would not disrespect any of the players that are potential players on the team, and obviously there was a misinterpretation of what I said, and that is an incorrect quote."

In a move that guarantees that Gray will not be the host of a TV special on Sept. 7 when Pavin makes his "decision," the Golf Channel correspondent confronted Pavin after the news conference. Names were called, threats were made and at one point Pavin pushed Gray's arm out of the way when he raised it in front of Pavin's wife, Lisa.

Gray pointed fingers at Pavin and said "you're going down."

Prior to all that, Pavin stuck with the general script regarding what he thinks about Woods playing on his team in Wales.

"I would love to see him play his way on to the roster, obviously," he said. "He's the No. 1 player in the world. I believe he's still ranked No. 1. He's a hell of a player, and I would like him to play well this week and make the top eight."

Montgomerie was happy to offer his own advice to his American counterpart when asked what he would do.

"That's a very difficult, dangerous, and undiplomatic question," Montgomerie said, "but of course I'd pick him, yes."

"Let me make a note of that," replied Pavin. "Thanks for the help. Appreciate it. He's very helpful that way, Colin is."

Pavin did not reciprocate in kind when asked if he would use a captain's pick on Padraig Harrington, one of four Europeans among the top 20 in the world rankings who are not currently qualified.

Paul Casey, Justin Rose and Edoardo Molinari are the others outside looking in at a very stacked European side.

"It's a headache and it's a nice headache to have," Montgomerie said. "It's the first time that a European captain has had such a strong team, if you like, that haven't quite qualified as yet."

That the U.S. won as heavy underdogs in 2008 at Valhalla without Woods on the roster because of injury will not play into Pavin's decision. It's an argument the captain is not buying.

"How can any team possibly be weaker with the No. 1 player playing?" he asked.

So will he pick him?

"There won't be any decisions made until Sept. 7 when I have the press conference," Pavin said. "And when that comes around, I will make my announcements and everything else is just pure speculation on maybe your part and my part, as well."

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