Ryder Cup captain Pavin sees strong Woods return - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Ryder Cup captain Pavin sees strong Woods return

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LONDON (AP) — American Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin predicted Friday that Tiger Woods would be as strong a player as ever when he comes back from his marital turmoil and break from golf.

Woods has admitted that he cheated on his wife and says he has decided to take an indefinite break from the game to try and save his marriage.

"Tiger's obviously a very strong-minded individual and I don't think he will play any differently when he comes back," Pavin said on a visit to London. "He's come back from injuries and setbacks and done fine."

Pavin, who became the first non-European to receive the British Professional Golfers' Association annual recognition award for services to golf, will lead a U.S. team defending the title at Celtic Manor in Wales from Oct. 1-3 next year.

He did not elaborate on whether Woods, who missed the American triumph at Valhalla last year because of knee problems, would return to the team.

"To not have the best player in the world weakens the team," he said. "That does not mean we can't win without him because obviously we did last time, but you always want the best player in the world."

Pavin said Woods first had to resolve his marital problems.

"My main concern is for his family. My view of him as a golfer is not going to change at all and my view of him as a human being is not going to change either," Pavin said. "Everybody makes mistakes. I'm not going to sit here in judgment.

"I just hope things work out for him and Elin. It's obviously an emotional time for him, but I think he's going to be fine."

Meanwhile, former British Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington, who has also played on three winning European Ryder Cup teams, said he was "amazed" by Woods' admission of infidelity.

Harrington said he regularly stayed in the same hotels as Woods while at tournaments and felt sorry for him because he believed he led a quiet life.

"Most of us would go out to dinner at tournaments but Tiger couldn't go out," the Irishman told Friday's editions of the Irish Independent. "Living in a goldfish bowl, there was so little he could do and I kind of felt sorry for him in that sense."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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