IRVING, Texas -- Corey Pavin is at this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship in a playing capacity. But that hasn't stopped him from using his time here as an opportunity to wear his Ryder Cup captain's hat and touch base with a couple of potential Ryder Cup players in the field.
"I had the opportunity this week to talk to some guys. I had a little chat with Stewart Cink yesterday, and I saw Rickie Fowler before he teed off in the pro-am today," Pavin said. "I'm trying to touch base with guys that have potential to make the team and just get their feelings on how they're playing and what they're doing."
Fowler could be one of the more intriguing names on Pavin's watch list. Currently ranked 19th on the Ryder Cup points list, Pavin made it clear that he think Fowler's game and personality are geared towards the Ryder Cup format.
"I'm watching Rickie Fowler really closely," Pavin said. "He's expressed great interest in playing and I think he's the type of player that can handle playing in the Ryder Cup. He wants to play well and show me how he's playing. But he's the type of player I think that's very mature and could handle that type of situation. There hasn't been an influx of young players recently that have fit that mold."
Pavin also said he had a chance to talk to Anthony Kim after his left thumb surgery. Given how committed Kim is to making it back in time for the event, Pavin wasn't surprised to hear from him right after his operation.
"I texted him after he withdrew from the Players and just asked him to let me know what was going on with his thumb and to keep me current and to let me know what's going on," Pavin said. "I guess he took me literally, because he called me about an hour after his surgery and we talked for a little while."
When asked about Kim's chances of making the team if he wasn't in the automatic eight spots for the Ryder Cup, Pavin said he'd wait and see how Kim responded to the surgery and performed on the course before he made a decision.
-- Jonathan Wall