Stars & Gripes: David Feherty reworks the Ryder Cup Captains' interview

TRUE COLORS: Dual-citizen Feherty (USA and Northern Ireland) shows his divided loyalties.
Angus Murray

David Feherty's not buying the captains' Mr. Nice Guy answers in their interview. "No insults or trash-talking?" he asks. "Sounds like spin to me." Here's our man's take on what Pavin and Monty were really thinking...

\nWhat do you most admire about the other captain?
Pavin: There's so much: his magnificent physique, the way his sheep-like hair stays stoically perfect in the fiercest squall, his complete lack of tact and diplomacy — and I love the way he laughs.
Monty: Absolutely nothing. Playing him was annoying, especially when he beat me.

\nWhat made you a good Ryder Cup player?
Pavin: My ability to make it look like I should be 4 down when I was actually 1 up. I won several matches before my opponent noticed I wasn't a caddy.
Monty: When I think about it, which I do quite often, I wonder if my opponents would lose on purpose just so they could get the hell away from me. But no, I always come back to the same answer... I'm sorry, what was the question again?

\nWhen you were a Ryder Cup player, who was the toughest opponent to play in singles?
Pavin: Ian Woosnam. Even for someone my size, it was like being attacked by a rabid Smurf. You never knew whether to kick him or give him one of those little packets of mini M&M's.
Monty: I always thought it would have been very difficult to play against myself. I was a hell of a Ryder Cup player, but if I'd had the ability to know what I was thinking — which I would have if I was facing off against me — I would have been very hard to beat. Unless I halved with myself, one of me would certainly have won every match. Yes, in fact, I'm sure of that.

\nWhat shot do you most remember from your Ryder Cup career?
Pavin: I remember holing a bunker shot at Kiawah Island and making a nine-foot vertical leap onto the green, like a lightning bolt had just shot out of my hind quarters. Feherty still hasn't forgiven me for it, and I wasn't even playing against him.
Monty: Mark Calcavecchia's shank at the 17th at Kiawah in '91. It gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling all over.

\nWhat's one thing you'll make sure to have in your team room?
Pavin: Ice, and plenty of it. We'll be in the UK, right? Hell, they treat that stuff like it's diamonds over there.
Monty: Moist wipes, and not the Clorox Bleach ones, either. It's very easy to make that mistake, I can tell you. And while no one likes to play with an itchy bum, an albino one that feels like it's been stung by a bee doesn't help, either. Wait! I don't want you to write down that answer. Just put down, "Salt and vinegar potato chips."

\nYou've taken young players under your wing at the Ryder Cup. Who did that for you?
Pavin: Pretty much everyone tried. I mean, look at me! Any time I'd open my mouth, Payne would pretend to feed me worms.
Monty: Hmm... that's a good one. No one really ever took me under his wing, so to speak, but Sam Torrance tried to stuff Ian Woosnam up my arse once at the Belfry. I suppose that's not really similar.

\nRyder Cups are famously nerve-wracking. When were you most nervous?
Pavin: Every time a member of the Royal Family visited, Sarah Ferguson would rifle through our lockers. It was just awkward.
Monty: I once went to shake Prince Charles's hand and accidentally grabbed him by his sporran. We had a very emotionally charged moment, and then it was gone. I still don't know what it meant.

\nWho was your favorite playing partner?
Pavin: I always felt comfortable playing with other complete a-holes, like Payne or Lanny or Curtis.
Monty: I would love to have played with David Feherty, but unfortunately he only made it onto one team, which was my first one, at Kiawah. Of course, I would have made sure we lost, just to get one back on the smart-arsed Irish git.

\nWho was the best for Ryder Cup team spirit?
Pavin: Strangely enough, Freddie Couples. If you didn't mind the snoring, he had an uncanny knack of blending in with almost any piece of furniture.
Monty: I think I was pretty good. People used to lean on me a lot, and occasionally even sit on me. And I don't snore.

\nWhat makes you most anxious about being captain?
Pavin: My wife is quite likely to beat the crap out of someone. No, really. She might.
Monty: The uniforms. I know the kilt is a gamble, but if we wear it properly, I think it works.

\nWhat was the most nervous you ever saw another player?
Pavin: I was always too busy trying not to soil myself to notice anyone else.
Monty: Is this interview nearly over? I have to go number two again.

\nWhich of your Ryder Cup moments do you most treasure?
Pavin: I hope I haven't had mine yet.
Monty: The one when this bloody interview is over.

\nWhich one do you most regret?
Pavin: Wearing that godawful shirt in '99. Oh wait, I wasn't even on that team.
Monty: When I agreed to do this interview.

\nWhich former captains have you consulted, and what advice have they offered?
Pavin: I was always a big Captain Kangaroo fan, but I don't think that'll help.
Monty: I take offense to that question. I have not consorted with any other captain, nor would I deem any such behavior appropriate at any time. Let's just move on.

\nWhat will make you a great captain?
Pavin: Uh, not losing.
Monty: Well for one thing, I'm not French. Can I go now, please?

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