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Tiger will be in my team, vows Pavin; USA captain supports star.

Byline: Mark Garrod

AMERICAN Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin wants Tiger Woods on his team at Celtic Manor in October and says his view of him has not changed since news broke of the world No 1's infidelity. "Everybody makes mistakes. I'm not going to sit here in judgement, I am the last guy in the world to do that," said Pavin, in London yesterday to become the first non-European recipient of the Professional Golfers' Association annual recognition award for services to the game.

s "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.

"Tiger's obviously a very strongminded individual and I don't think he will play any differently when he comes back. He's come back from injuries and setbacks (Woods' father died in 2006) and done fine. But my main concern at the moment is for his family."

Woods won both the Open and US PGA three years ago, but he had everyone's sympathy then, and that will certainly not be the case after all the revelations that have come out since his car crash on November 27.

Pavin (pictured above) was in Iraq visiting troops at the time and admits he was "very shocked, very surprised." But his trip to the Middle East made it easy for him to put things into perspective. "It's humbling and very inspirational," he said.

"We get lost in our own little world sometimes on what's important.

"We get bothered by little things and then you talk to someone who's had their legs blown off in war and are upbeat.

"The most amazing thing is when you see an injured soldier's first thought is to get back with their unit."

Like everyone else, Pavin is now waiting to see how long Woods is out.

The Americans regained the Ryder Cup without Woods at Valhalla last year following his knee surgery, but Pavin added: "To not have the best player in the world weakens the team.

"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."

Meanwhile, the lawyer for the doctor whose case was heard in a Toronto court yesterday on charges including selling an unapproved drug has said that the whole matter had "absolutely nothing to do with Tiger Woods".

Tony Galea treated Woods as he recovered from knee surgery last year, but his attorney Brian Greenspan stated on the steps of the courthouse: "Dr Galea has not been and is not involved in providing performance-enhacing drugs to competitive athletes. Any suggestion of a linkage to Tiger Woods is non-existent."

Galea has been charged by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with four violations - selling the unapproved drug Actovegin, conspiracy to import an unapproved drug, conspiracy to export a drug and smuggling goods into Canada. The maximum sentence is five years in prison.

Galea, who was not present for the brief hearing, treated Woods with the controversial but legal "blood-spinning" procedure.

The charges against him were announced and the prosecutor handed over a thick binder containing documents that outline the evidence to date.

Greenspan will return to the court on January 28 and the prosecution will hand over whatever additional evidence has been gathered.

The case will be made public only if it goes to trial. Greenspan also told reporters: "If you are here to ask about Tiger Woods that's not the story today - and it's not really the story of Dr Galea."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 19, 2009
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