At Whistling Straits on Wednesday, the two Ryder Cup captains for the matches this October met before the media - presumably to talk about golf, the matches, and potential team members. Instead, the press conference largely focused upon separate controversies that each captain is facing.
The lead story of the conference was a conflict between Golf Channel contributor (and The Decision host) Jim Gray and US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin. Gray reported last night that Pavin told him in a conversation that Woods would be one of four captain's picks for the American team were he not to qualify through points after this week.
Waggle Room was first to question Gray's reporting, citing a source in the Pavin camp. Pavin then tweeted this morning to claim he was misquoted by Gray.
Pavin clarified his stance in the press conference, saying, "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."
Gray, clearly upset by Pavin's open questioning of his integrity, approached Pavin after the press conference. The conversation quickly escalated into a nose-to-nose stand-off. Gray told Pavin he was a liar and that Pavin was "going down." Pavin retaliated, saying Gray was "full of ****."
As Gray was leaving the conversation, Pavin asked, "You're just going to walk off?" which set off additional jawing. Pavin's wife Lisa also got involved in the war of words.
For its part Golf Channel has said through a spokesman, "We 100 percent stand behind the accuracy of Jim Gray’s story."
After the incident, Pavin told a small group of reporters, "He asked me if I was going to pick him (Woods), and I said, ‘I’m not going to answer that question.’ Are you kidding? . . . He would not be my first choice (to tell); I’ll tell you that. He wouldn’t be my second, third or fourth, either."
"He threw a quote out there as a quote of mine that is totally misrepresentitive of anything that I said. He asked me if I was going to pick Tiger. All of you guys have asked me that. . . . Obviously he’s just trying to get a story out there. But if you start making stuff up, it makes me mad."
Colin Montgomerie, for his part, was not without uncomfortable stretches of his press conference. Monty was asked directly about reports - including those by Waggle Room - that embarrassing pictures of him are in the possession of ex-flame Paula Tagg, and he had achieved a so-called 'super-injunction' to prevent their publishing.
His initial response was, "I know a lot of you are having a lot of fun right now at my expense."
Monty followed up by saying, "Let me clear this up, though, that I can categorically say that there's no injunction against the News of the World. I'm really not going to discuss this any -- any further. All I can say is categorically there is no injunction against the News of the World regarding anything."
Asked again about an injunction - this time against Tagg and not News of the World - Monty cowered with a non-confirmation confirmation.
"No further questions on that or any other subject regarding anything -- or anything regarding my private life."