Stewart Cinks Naked Ambition

By Brian HewittJune 22, 2008, 4:00 pm
These guys are candid.
Stewart Cink said Sunday that he got a tip from his wife, Lisa. She said, Sometimes you have to be willing to run across the green naked, Cink said.
Which is something youll probably never read in any instruction or golf psychology book. At least not those exact words.
Cink, before the first golf ball went into the air Sunday at Hartford, was always going to be the first litmus test of a remaining 2008 without Tiger Woods.
He passed. He won the Travelers Championship by a shot over Tommy Armour III and defending champion Hunter Mahan.
Cink has been having a wonderful year. And he entered the final round with a two-shot lead. That was the good news.
The bad news was that on the previous nine occasions Cink went into the last day with at least a share of the lead he had won just once. The most notable of these disappointments was the 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills where Cink missed an inside-the-leather putt on the 72d green that kept him from joining a playoff in which Retief Goosen defeated Mark Brooks.
The whole sports world is going to be looking at golf and its best players a little differently until Tiger returns. And people are going to be a little harsher on the players that have stuck around to fight the good fight. Cink is one of those players.
He is a certain Ryder Cupper this fall and an almost certain Presidents Cupper next year. Can players like Cink and world No. 2 Phil Mickelson, who had such a disappointing U.S. Open home game at Torrey Pines South, carry the American flag against the recently-dominant European side at the Ryder Cup in September at Valhalla in Kentucky?
Cink has previously played in three Ryder Cups. He has won three, lost five and tied four matches. He has never played on a winning Ryder Cup team. However, comma, he did destroy Euro mainstay Sergio Garcia 4 and 3 in the Sunday singles at the K Club two years ago. In Presidents Cup matches Cink is 8-4-1 with a shiny 4-1-0 record in alternate shot.
Prior to Sunday, Cink hadnt won since the 2004 WGC-NEC Invitational. He led the TOUR in putting one year, the first player to do so with long putter. And, he said, Saturday, Ive pretty much done everything but win a lot.
But he was getting to be a notorious non-finisher. And he was well aware that people see what Woods does and what the rest of the best players dont.
Any time Tigers sniffing the lead he just seems to will it through, Cink said. Then youve got the way I was, which, when it seemed like anytime theres a chance to lose, I lose.
So Lisa Cink gave her husband the advice. He didnt actually disrobe on the golf course and streak to victory. But he played unafraid golf.
Only four previous career wins in America going into Hartford for Cink. Earlier this year he said he fell asleep on two shots in the final round of the PODS Championship. And, he said, it cost him the tournament.
So Cink showed up Sunday at the TPC River Highlands determined to keep his eyes wide open. A bogey on the fourth hole after three opening pars was not the kind of start he was looking for. But a birdie on the sixth pushed him back into a one-shot lead over a group of players.
At no point after that did Cink lose his lead. He made just the one bogey all day. Im not trying to prove anything to anybody thats out there writing stories or doing articles or whatever, but to myself, he said. I wanted to prove something to myself.
He did just that. And he proved something to all the critics who are now looking at players through the demanding prism tinted by Woods absence.
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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    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.

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    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.