US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin and Golf Channel contributor Jim Gray just had a heated verbal exchange following a joint press conference with Pavin and European captain Colin Montgomerie promoting the upcoming competition. The Pavin-Gray incident this afternoon stems from a report that Gray gave on the air yesterday that Pavin would make Tiger Woods one of his four captain's picks, in the event that Woods doesn't play his way onto the team.
Not long after the Pavin-Montgomerie press conference, held in the media center at the PGA Championship and moderated by a PGA of America staff member, Gray approached Pavin and, according to witnesses, called him a liar, stuck a finger in Pavin's face, and said, "You're going down."
"He went nuts when he came in here," Pavin told a group of reporters after the incident. "He said 'You're going down,' then he turned around and walked away and I'm like, 'Down for what? You making stuff up?'"
Gray went on the Golf Channel yesterday and reported that Pavin, in an off-camera interview with Gray, said that he would definitely use a captain's selection on Woods if the world's top-ranked player fails to make the team automatically.
When he became aware of Gray's televised report, Pavin, who was on the Whistling Straits course this morning playing a practice round, posted a message on his Twitter account that said, "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," referring to the Sept. 7 date when he'll announce his four captain's picks. The top eight on the Ryder Cup points standings after the PGA Championship automatically qualify.
Gray, appearing on the Golf Channel after Pavin's Twitter post, said that he stands by his report and that he didn't misquote Pavin.
Pavin vehemently disagrees.
"When I saw that this morning I went 'Where did that come from? I never said that.' It's false reporting," Pavin said. "He asked me if I was going to pick [Woods] and I said I wasn't going to answer that question. Are you kidding? I was trying to take the high road on the whole deal, and he isn't."