Cink Battles Breezes for Genuity Lead

By George WhiteMarch 2, 2001, 5:00 pm
The assault on par abated ever so little as Stewart Cink slipped into the lead at the Genuity Championship at Doral. Look at where he is looking and you'll see the reason.

'I am hitting the ball pretty close to where I am looking. My putts are starting pretty close to where I'm looking. I do not see why I cannot keep it going,' said Cink after he fired a 66 Friday to go with his 64 Thursday. His 14-under total of 140 was two shots clear of Hal Sutton and Mike Weir, who had the 62 Thursday.
'The golf course played much more difficult with the wind the other way,' said Weir, who played in the afternoon.

'Yesterday, the wind was blowing, but all the tough holes, it was a helping wind. Then, I played in the afternoon today, the wind is blowing the opposite direction that the golf course plays. It is a four- to five-shot difference the other way.'
In at 11-under-par, three shots behind Cink, is Robert Allenby, who won last week at the Nissan Open. He shot a 67 to go with his 65 Thursday. Tied with him at 11-under is Australian Greg Chalmers.
The winds in the afternoon changed ever so slightly from the winds in the morning. 'It is southwesterly,' Cink said of the morning breezes. 'Your wind on 18 is pretty much across from the right. It is an easy wind for that hole.
'In the morning, usually the wind comes from this direction. In the afternoon it switches from off the ocean, easterly, and then 18 gets hard.'
The 443-yard 'Blue Monster' hole has been anything but a monster this week. Thursday Cink used a driver and wedge and birdied the hole. Friday morning he hit a driver and 9-iron and birdied again.
Cink, who lives in Atlanta, Ga., is back on the East Coast and says he is relieved. 'I am a huge fan of Bermuda,' he says, referring to the prevailing grasses in the East. 'I feel comfortable here.'
Cink birdied three of Doral's four par-5s in shooting 33-33, 3-under on each side. The front side, he birdied the two par-5s, Nos. 1 and 8, and the par-4 No. 7. On the back, he birdied the par-5 10th and two of the last three, Nos. 16 and 18.
'It is close,' Cink said when asked if his game was where he wanted it to be. 'I shot some good scores the first couple of days here, so I am getting there, although I am still not exactly where I want it to be.
'My swing is a little bit inconsistent at times. I know exactly where I want to go, that is the good thing. It is not a mystery. I know what I need to do. I am getting close. It is a matter of taking it from the range to the golf course.'
Sutton is coming off tendonitis in his ankle, which led to back problems and an eventual cessation of play. He won the TPC last year, battling Tiger Woods in a great stretch run, and a month later won the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic. The second half of the year, though, was pretty much of a washout.
This year, he is rested and gave himself plenty of time in the off-season to heal his dings. Now he is playing like the old Hal Sutton again.
'All you can do is play that is dealt you,' said Sutton. 'That is what I came away with. You can get caught up. But you have to play it just as it comes to you.'
See Full-Field scores from the Genuity Championship here.
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