Pavin in confrontation with reporter over Woods

Corey Pavin of the U.S., captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, speaks at a press conference....

Corey Pavin of the U.S., captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, speaks at a press conference. (REUTERS/Matt Sullivan)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

KOHLER, Wis. — The Ryder Cup is still six weeks off, but apparently it’s never too early for some fireworks.

American Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin and Golf Channel reporter Jim Gray got into a physical confrontation Wednesday in the PGA Championship media centre after Pavin accused Gray of misquoting him and Gray called Pavin a liar.

“You’re going down,” Gray said to Pavin while poking a finger at the team captain, according to onlookers.

The two got into it after Pavin and his European counterpart, Colin Montgomerie, held a joint press conference.

“You’re full of it,” Pavin said.

At the centre of the dispute is what Pavin did or didn’t say to Gray during a conversation Tuesday at Whistling Straits, where both Pavin and Montgomerie are participating in the PGA Championship.

Gray aired a report Tuesday night quoting Pavin as saying he would use a captain’s pick to select Tiger Woods if the world No. 1 failed to make the U.S. team on points.

“Of course I’m going to (pick him). He’s the best player in the world,” Gray quoted Pavin as saying.

But Pavin went on Twitter Wednesday morning: “For the record, @golfchannel and Jim Gray has misquoted me re: picking Tiger. I never said such a thing and will not say a thing until 09/07.”

That’s when Pavin will make his four captain’s picks in New York City.

Heading into the PGA Championship, Woods is 10th in the American Ryder Cup standings. The top eight players get automatic berths.

Of course, the Gray interview came up at Wednesday’s press conference.

“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 promised any picks. It would be disrespectful to everybody who is 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. Obviously, there was a misrepresentation of what I said and that is an incorrect quote.”

Pavin said he spoke to Woods Wednesday, but wouldn’t comment on the subject of their discussion.

Woods said Tuesday that if Pavin spent a captain’s pick on him, he would accept.

“I would love to see him play his way on to the roster, obviously,” Pavin said. “He’s the No. 1-ranked player in the world. He’s a hell of a player and I would like him to play well this week and make the top eight. That would be fantastic.”

Montgomerie, who has his own controversies, must have enjoyed having the attention shifted on the Americans.

He was asked if he were in Pavin’s shoes if he would select Woods with a captain’s pick.

“Oh, that’s a very ... that’s a very difficult, dangerous, undiplomatic question,” said Montgomerie, sparking laughter.

“But of course I’d pick him, yes.”

More laughs.

“Let me make a note of that,” Pavin said. “Thanks for the help. Appreciate it. He’s very helpful that way, Colin is.”

More laughs.

But it got ugly a few minutes later.

Pavin’s wife, Lisa, got involved in the confrontation between Pavin and Gray and reportedly captured it all on her cellphone (coming to a YouTube near you).

Maybe Montgomerie might want to make Gray an honorary captain of the European team, you know, just in case.


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