Pavin emphasises value of assistants

The American Ryder Cup captain jokes that Colin Montgomerie must be more clever than he because Montgomerie needs only three vice captains.

CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND // Corey Pavin, the American Ryder Cup captain, joked yesterday that Colin Montgomerie must be more clever than he because Montgomerie needs only three vice captains. Pavin described Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn as "great picks" by his opposite number and said: "Colin must be quite a bit smarter to only have three."

The 2006 captain Tom Lehman, will join Davis Love III, Jeff Sluman and Paul Goydos in assisting Pavin. "Each of us are going to do what we think is best," added Pavin, a former US Open champion, in Carnoustie this week for the Senior British Open. "I picked four because I wanted to have an assistant captain walking with each group in the four matches the first two days and to keep an eye on things. "That's just my choice and obviously Colin felt three was enough. "I had my reasons for picking my assistants and I'm sure Colin has his. I think they are excellent, excellent people to have out there helping. "I think it depends on the captain and what he's asking - I'll be asking a lot of advice. "During the week it's very important, I think, for the assistants to take a load off of me. "My main focus is to make sure everything is prepared for the players and they have nothing to worry about but play golf and focus on trying to win some matches. "But you can't manage everything. There's too many things to manage as a captain and that's why I chose my assistants. "I knew they were very capable of doing anything that I asked them to do, and doing things that I don't ask them to do that they see need to be done." It was pointed out to Pavin that Europe has nine players in the world top 20 and the United States only six, but he said: "I think we have four of the top five. If you played it on paper it would be interesting, but we don't and it doesn't seem to matter where the rankings are; the matches are always close and competitive."

* PA

Points through July 18 Pos Player Points 1 P Mickelson 5,768.749 2 S Stricker 3,402.676 3 J Furyk 3,280.085 4 A Kim 3,238.309 5 L Glover 2,980.874 6 D Johnson 2,936.138 7 T Woods 2,773.305 8 M Kuchar 2,725.209 9 J Overton 2,629.848 10 R Barnes 2,579.301 * The United States team will consist of the top eight players on the Ryder Cup Points List and four captain's picks