Catching up with Stewart Cink

By Rich LernerJanuary 8, 2010, 1:25 am

KAPALUA, Hawaii – Rich Lerner caught up with 2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink at the SBS Championship. Here are snippets of that interview:

How often do you look at the claret jug?

Well it’s right in the middle of my house so I can’t really avoid it, not that I would try to. It’s beautiful. Actually I’ve got the original and now I’ve got my replica and they look almost identical so I’ve got two in the house, which is really great. It’s just a pleasure to see it every day and it brings back memories.

The original goes back?

The original I take back to St. Andrews this year and it’s actually on display right now at TPC Sugarloaf, which is my neighborhood in Atlanta. I’m going to let it stay on display at the four golf clubs I belong to, Sugarloaf, River Club, Berkeley Hills and East Lake so during the year they’re all going to get a chance to let their members see it.

If you’ve been invited to someone’s house for dinner, do you ever take the replica with you?

I took the real jug out on the town a couple times just to revel in it. It attracts a lot of attention when it goes to public places. So it’s now been retired to privacy.

Hold on a second. You’re going to Outback and you ask for a table for five, my wife and two children and the jug?

One of my favorite places to eat in Atlanta is New York Prime. The owner wanted to have a celebration dinner for us and we had about 30-40 people come down, brought the jug and everybody got to pass it around and have a sip or two out of it including all of the patrons who were already at the bar, we didn’t shut down the place.

What was in the jug?

Guinness was the first thing. That was my choice. I reserve the right to be the first one to put anything in it.

Is it possible to have a better beer buzz than to drink Guinness out of the freakin’ claret jug, honestly?

I love Guinness out of anything but out of the claret jug, I didn’t even rinse it out first I wanted to get some of that rust and dust out of the bottom of it. (laughs)

Prior to winning the British, you had said through the years that you could be doing more. The word underachieving is kind of harsh but…

No I actually did say that, underachieving.

Well I felt you sort of represented the generation that had won big money without winning big tournaments. Is that fair?

I’d say that’s fair because I labeled myself as an underachiever for several years because I felt that I had not won as many times as I thought I might. There was always just part of my game that was just sort of not there. Even now I won the major it sort of erases a lot of those memories of tournaments that I lost and gaps in years where I didn’t win tournaments but still it only adds one to the total and I still think I could’ve won more. But I’m 36 and I’m really in the prime of my career and you know I think I’ve got a lot of good golf ahead of me.

What would you like to see happen in the next few months that would help to move the PGA Tour in a positive direction while Tiger’s gone?

I would just like for some of the personalities on the PGA Tour to come out and to be shown to the people that want to see golf. Fans out there like to see golf shots but they also want to know the golfers and it’s hard for the personalities to come through the cameras into the living rooms. It just doesn’t always translate because 95 percent of us play better golf when we keep everything bottled in emotionally.

I hear from fans quite a bit that players are robots. Where are the Lee Trevinos and Chi Chi Rodriqguez? Is that fair?

Yeah because you know it’s a lot deeper out here than it ever was so to be successful it takes a certain level of seriousness to be honest. It’s a rare player that can show his emotions and still retain that focus level. So that’s our responsibility to sort of loosen up a little bit.

Back to the British Open, people forget you birdied four of the last nine holes, you had one of the only birdies at 18, and you handled the playoff like a guy who’d won 10 majors and yet it’s still recalled as the Tom Watson British Open.

That’s OK. Even though I won he was the bigger story. There are exponents to describe how big the story was so I have no problem with that at all. I mean, I still remember it as the Tom Watson British Open, too, it’s just that I got the claret jug at the end. It was surreal. I just never dreamed that I would be playing against Tom Watson for my first major.


It really was bizarre but he played well. Once we got to the playoff I had to remind myself that this guy has played better than anybody else in the field except you so far so age matters not.

Bump into Tom after you left the golf course?

We saw each other in the hotel, my wife and me and Tom and his wife on the stairs in the Turnberry Hotel. He shared a quick trip with me about a fishing trip he took where he took the jug. That was a nice moment, just shared between two people who now have something in common. I’m glad that the name Tom Watson will always be attached to me and my Open Championship.

What’s on your IPOD?

Cold Play, Dave Matthews Band, Beck, Pixies, Indigo Girls to name a few.

Is there a song which describes you best?

Probably “Loser” from Beck! (laughs) Actually I love those artists because they’re all writers, they write poetic music. I’m a lyric guy.

If you weren’t playing golf what would you like to be doing?


There’s your green screen right behind you.

Snow in the northwest moving down through the Rockies, cold in the Southeast again. I’ve done it actually.

You’re kidding me?

Yeah when I hosted “Inside the PGA Tour” I did the green screen at the Weather Channel with Paul Goodlow. It’s hard.

So is winning the British. Who would play you in the movie?

All my friends at home say Will Ferrell.

Alright a few quick hitters. You need a 295 yard drive, has to be in play. Who do you hand the club to?

Lucas Glover, really good driver, solid, long.

185, maybe a baby 6-iron, needs to be finessed with the pin back right?

Back right, Mike Weir because he can draw it. You thought I was going to give you a fade guy.

Back left?

Back left it’s Zach (Johnson) because he can draw it.

25 yard shot deep rough 71st hole of a major, must get it to within 6 feet, who gets the call?

Padraig (Harrington). After playing against him in so many matches the guy has one heck of a short game.

15 feet, must make?

Phil (Mickelson).

Who’s a player that could open some eyes that isn’t getting a lot of pub right now?

Nick Watney.

Who’s the funniest guy on Tour?

Todd Hamilton. He’s one of those guys who goes on the Internet and gets material before he comes to the golf course and just lays it on you.

Who’s the smartest guy on Tour?

Paul Goydos.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

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Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

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Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm