NEWPORT, Wales — Continuing the unpredictable pattern he established with his final captain’s pick last month, the United States Ryder Cup captain, Corey Pavin, cracked open some surprises at the Ryder Cup opening ceremonies on Thursday.
First, he shocked himself by omitting Stewart Cink from his team introductions, an awkward moment in an otherwise smooth production. Then he surprised Colin Montgomerie, the European team captain, with his order of play and the composition of at least one of the pairings he announced for Friday morning’s four-ball matches, which will kick off the 38th Ryder Cup.
While most of North America is still sleeping or just awakening on Friday, the first four matches will be under way on a windblown, long, wet golf course at Celtic Manor. The results will show whether Pavin’s unconventional approach to the United States pairings — especially the choice of the rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton to anchor the morning matches against Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington — was good intuition or the first step toward disaster.