Pavin’s pairings were idiotic, to say the least. But, his worst decision this Ryder Cup, and among the worst in golf history, was to allow the change of format.
Simple, the US’s biggest strength is their four guys at the top of the lineup are the four best in the world. NO ONE DEBATES THIS. Overall, Europe probably has a deeper team. Again, NO ONE DEBATES THIS.
So, what did Pavin do? He accepted a format that is rewards the deeper. Note: this is probably Europe. Let’s consider his alternative:
Not accepting it.
This give the US a chance to maximize Stricker, Furyk, Mickelson and Woods times. When the format changes Tiger Woods will have an equal opportunity to win points as Jeff Overton. I hope I remember this sentence in ten years, so we realize how silly it sounds.
So, maybe if Pavin stuck to his guns, the Ryder Cup goes to Monday. Who cares? his job is to win. Maybe all the matches get halved in they aren’t done by Monday night. Who cares ? Pavin’s team was ahead at the time and his job is to win. The US only needs 14 pts, and taking .5 points from every singles match is better than what the US could expect to do. If he front loaded his line-up, he could do a lot better with just halving matches at the end.
What did Pavin end up costing his team?
Well, The US, just based on average teams, was about 43% to win the Ryder Cup. (A little over 50% if you count 14 and retaining cup). After his pairings on Thursday morning down to about 40%. After changing the formats, and keeping all else equal, Pavin dropped the team to between 37% and 38% simply because the US has to use their weaker players now, while Europe is more rounded.
So, Corey Pavin made the team about 6% less likely to win based on his actions today.