Jim Gray and Corey Pavin are supporting players in the Tiger Woods saga. Yet the Jim Gray-Corey Pavin feud yesterday elevated Gray and Pavin to leading-men status. Beforehand, only Pavin was challenging for that role, since he was the Ryder Cup captain. Ultimately, it is his decision on whether Woods will play for the U.S. Ryder Cup team as a captain’s pick. But the Jim Gray-Corey Pavin altercations over the last few days have added an unexpected subplot to this growing story.
After Woods tanked at the Bridgestone Invitational, it became clear that he probably won’t make the top eight of the Ryder Cup standings. As such, he would have to get in as one of the four captain’s picks, which he finally admitted he would accept on Tuesday. That put the ball squarely in captain Corey Pavin’s court.
On Tuesday, the first Gray-Pavin talk over the issue had Pavin say he would take Woods. At least that is what Gray quoted him as saying on Tuesday, as Pavin allegedly said “of course I’m going to” pick Woods. But Pavin backtracked on that yesterday, saying that he hadn’t made a decision yet, and that it would be unfair to make it now.
But the next Jim Gray-Corey Pavin talk was more heated as a result. After Pavin’s press conference, Gray allegedly came up to him when the cameras were off and called him a liar. Standing by his story in more ways than one, Gray reportedly got so heated that he told Pavin he was “going down.”
Most of the Jim Gray-Corey Pavin argument details were provided by Pavin’s wife, Lisa, who allegedly recorded everything on her phone. In fact, she claimed Gray raised his hand to try to keep her away, but her husband pushed it back.
Despite the Jim Gray-Corey Pavin altercation, the reporter is still standing by his account. So is the Golf Channel, who Gray filed the report to. Yet Pavin insisted that his statement on Tuesday was misinterpreted.
The debate over Tiger Woods and the Ryder Cup was already building up, even before this spat. Of course, Woods can make it all irrelevant by doing well at the PGA Championship, and making the top eight after all. If he doesn’t, this question will keep being asked until Pavin makes his captain’s picks in early September.
By then, the Jim Gray-Corey Pavin argument might fade away, although Gray did vow to make him pay somehow. This is the second sports story this summer that Gray has been part of, after he hosted LeBron James’s “Decision” and didn’t ask the biggest question for 25 minutes.
Both James and Woods have had a rough summer, and, in both cases, Gray has been in the middle somehow. But Pavin’s problems may have just begun, if Woods cannot qualify by himself this week.
CBS News- “Corey Pavin, Jim Gray Engage in Heated Exchange Over Tiger’s Ryder Cup Status”