Last Saturday, in an interview with SI, Pavin said, "It was a very strange deal. I don't understand what he meant by ['you're going down'] at all. I'm baffled."
Gray said in a statement, "I never threatened or said those words to Corey Pavin."
You might as well blame this one on the Tiger scandal too. If only he had played better golf this year, all this could have been avoided.
Through a PGA official, SI asked to hear Lisa Pavin's recording of the argument. The Pavins did not respond to the request.
The whole thing makes you wonder if golf is ready for the modern media age, in which everything is parsed to death and sentences such as "Pavin said that Gray said" get turned into "Gray said."
Well, at least Tiger's sexcapades seem to be old news for now. If you really want a glimpse into a golfer's sex life, Monty's your man of the hour. Google Colin Montgomerie and Daily Mirror, the noted British scandal sheet, and you may glean what you like about Monty's alleged affair with a former girlfriend--neighbor, Joanne Baldwin, while married to his current wife, Gaynor Knowles, widow of a furniture mogul.
That's probably necessary background to understand what Montgomerie was referring to when he said at the Wednesday press conference, "I know a lot of you are having a lot of fun right now at my expense. I apologize for this, that you have to bring this up, but at the same time I have no further comments on that matter. I'm here to talk about the Ryder Cup. So please, no further questions on anything regarding my private life."
Meanwhile, at the CBS compound, Jim Nantz and Gary McCord and other CBSers were glued to the Pavin-Monty proceedings on TV and gleefully needled their colleague, David Feherty, for precipitating the line of questioning of Montgomerie. (The day before, Feherty had gone on the Dan Patrick Show and discussed some of the fine points of a British court injunction that prevents Baldwin from talking publicly about her affair with Monty.) The media echo chamber in golf has never been so loud.
Last week at Whistling Straits, Thomas Levet, the former European tour player, was working as an interviewer for European TV and trying to figure out what Montgomerie, his former Ryder Cup teammate, would do with his own three captain's picks. (Qualifying for the nine automatic spots on the European side ends on Aug. 29.) If Monty takes one of the Molinari brothers, he should take both so that they might play as a team, Levet said. Padraig Harrington and Justin Rose and Paul Casey would all seem likely choices, he said, but what about Luke Donald and Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Bernhard Langer? Levet has known for a while that Sergio García is not in the mix. "We've known since Augusta that Sergio's heart is not in it right now, that he needs a break from the game," Levet said. Levet knew, and he didn't tweet it, blog it, broadcast it or text it. He simply sat on the news and watched the season unfold. Obviously, Levet did not get the e-memo.
In any event, come the first three days of October, live from Celtic Manor in Wales, you can get a break from all manner of hysteria. You can turn off your cellphone, power down your desktop and your laptop and your iPad. You can even hit the mute button on Johnny Miller and for three days simply watch some of the purest golf there is, when the best tour pros in the world play match play for nothing but individual, team and national pride. You can watch the shots and try to figure out for yourself what's going on. It's not very complicated. If you decide you need some professional insight into the proceedings, help is all around. Just turn something back on.