Cink Henry Team for US

By Associated PressDecember 6, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 WGC - Barbedos World Cup ST. JAMES, Barbados -- Stewart Cink doesn't know why so many top Americans turned down a chance to play in this year's World Cup. He's just thrilled they did -- it gave him another chance to represent his country.
Cink is in the World Cup for the second straight year, this time teaming with J.J. Henry in the final World Golf Championships event of the season, which starts Thursday. Six other American players ahead of Cink in the world golf rankings declined invitations, but the four-time PGA TOUR winner happily agreed to play.
'The longer I go on playing on the PGA TOUR, the more I get a kick out of playing for the United States,' Cink said. 'It's just something that never gets old and whether it's the President's Cup, the Ryder Cup, the World Cup, whatever, it's just a lot of fun.'
Cink chose Henry as his World Cup teammate largely because of their success together at this year's Ryder Cup, where they were among the lone American bright spots in another easy win by Europe.
Now, they'll aim to be the first American victors at the World Cup since Tiger Woods and David Duval won in 2000.
'We did make a great team,' Henry said. 'When we played together at the Ryder Cup, we played awfully good and I think we're comfortable with each other. We have similar games and styles we play. We both hit the ball about the same distance. Heck, we both putt with belly putters.'
Cink and Henry halved both of their fourball matches at The K Club, plus found out during the Ryder Cup buildup that they each have a lot in common -- even both having sons named Connor.
'It just seemed like a natural fit and it still does,' Cink said. 'We're going to have a good time this week win or lose, and I think that's what it's all about at the end.'
The World Cup -- at Barbados' famed Sandy Lane for the first time -- is a stroke-play event that uses a match-play sort of format, calling for four-ball (best ball) competition Thursday and Saturday, then foursomes (alternate shot) Friday and Sunday.
Wales' Bradley Dredge and Stephen Dodd are the defending champions, with other top pairings including England's Luke Donald and David Howell and Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley.
Cink was seventh among Americans in the world rankings when the invitations for the World Cup were issued in September. Woods, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson all passed, as did David Toms, Chris DiMarco and Chad Campbell.
The U.S. was hardly the only nation to see its top-ranked players decline a chance to come to Barbados and play for a chance to win a $700,000 per-man winner's prize.
Australia's eight highest-ranked players said no, before John Senden -- No. 89 in the world two months ago -- took the invite. South African stars Retief Goosen, Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman all skipped their chance, leaving Rory Sabbatini (who teamed with Immelman to win the World Cup in 2003) as the top choice.
Then again, the Aussies and South Africans may have had some good reasons, too.
Barbados is nearly 6,500 miles from Johannesburg and 10,000 miles from Sydney -- while the tiny eastern Caribbean island is a mere 3 1/2 -hour flight from Florida.
'Nothing against Stewart Cink or J.J. Henry. They are very strong players,' said Donald, the No. 9 player in the world. 'But to have to go that far down on the list, it weakens the overall feel of the tournament just a little bit because they could potentially field a much stronger team.'
But some players, including Harrington -- at No. 8, the highest-ranked player in the field -- defended the Americans who decided not to play World Cup.
Harrington said he thinks the format would have been better served by an in-season date and an once-every-four-years format, not the end-of-year timeframe that the event typically uses.
'The European and Asian players, we're all playing in-season now,' said Harrington, who'll again team with Paul McGinley and be among the favorites on a course they visit and practice on each winter. 'Most of the players here have played recently. The U.S. guys, a lot of them haven't played in six weeks.'
The U.S. has won this event 23 times, but only once since it was incorporated into the WGC schedule in 2000. And Henry said he believes that, even without the likes of Woods and Furyk, he and Cink have a strong chance of ending that drought.
'Are we 1 and 2 in the world for the United States? No, we are not right now,' Henry said. 'But at the same time we are honored to be here and we're looking forward to competing.'
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - WGC - World Cup
    Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Getty Images

    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.