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It's great to be back among the fantastic Welsh people - Pavin.

COREY PAVIN is hoping this week's visit to Wales for the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex is more enjoyable than his last venture to these shores.

'at was back in 2010 at the Celtic Manor Resort when the man from Dallas, Texas, oversaw one of the greatest Ryder Cup soap operas in history.

It went into a fourth day for the rst time ever and resulted in 17th-hole heartbreak for America when Graeme McDowell toppled Hunter Mahan in the nal singles match out to give Colin Montgomerie's European side a onepoint victory.

Given that backdrop you thought a return visit to Wales wouldn't gure highly on Pavin's golng wish list.

'ough the Celtic Manor is replaced by the seaside splendour of Royal Porthcawl, Pavin, who captured the 1995 US Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills after playing one of the greatest shots in the event's history at the 72nd hole, is relishing the opportunity to return to Wales.

"It will be good to go back. When I went there as Ryder Cup captain, the people of Wales were fantastic - very welcoming and very friendly," said the Californiaborn star.

"I'm looking forward to getting over there again, and I've heard a lot about the golf course so I would like to see it as well.

"I don't know anything about the course other than the fact that it's right on the water.

"I believe they played the Walk-Walk er Cup at Royal Porthcawl some years ago and an event on the European Senior Tour last year.

"I've heard other players talk about it and it sounds very chal lenging, especially if the wind comes up. I expect to nd a very dicult golf course."

Pavin admitted he has some " warm memories of his visits to South Wales before and during 'e Ryder Cup.

He added: "'ere was a lot of respect, I thought, from the people in Wales.

"Obviously they wanted Europe to win 'e Ryder Cup, but they were very respectful and very nice.

"Everything we needed and asked for they provided. It was a very, very easy relationship."

Pavin has had to witness rival " Ryder Cup captain Montgomerie make a stunning foray into Senior golf, especially this summer, when the 52-year-old Scot raided Ameri Can shores to bring the Senior PGA Championship and Senior US Open trophies back over the Atlan tic.

Montgomerie is only the fth golfer to lift both titles in the same season, and he now has the chance to complete the treble in Wales.

But Pavin believes he's found the formula to potential Major glory in the Senior ranks as he bids to exact some revenge for that Ryder Cup heartbreak four years "ago.

"You have to play intelligent "Igolf," added Pavin.

"I think I've matured enough to realise that and play more within myself sometimes, to play away from some pins so you don't make bogeys.

"You have to realise that in Major golf, pars are usually good enough."

CAPTION(S):

USA team <B captain Corey Pavin, pictured with The Ryder Cup during the Celtic Manor event in 2010, is relishing returning to Wales after hailing locals as 'friendly and welcoming'

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 22, 2014
Words:527
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