Cink Leads Ryder Cup Teammates by Five

By Sports NetworkAugust 21, 2004, 4:00 pm
AKRON, Ohio -- Stewart Cink chipped in for birdie at the last to close a third round of 2-under 68 Saturday and take a five-shot lead heading into the final round. Cink completed 54 holes at 11-under-par 199.
Cink owns at least a share of the 54-hole lead for the seventh time in his career on the PGA Tour. However, he has not won any of the previous six events. Cink's best finish in those events was second place, which he has done three times, most recently at the Funai Classic last October.
Chris DiMarco, who played his way onto the United States Ryder Cup team with his playoff loss in the PGA Championship last weekend, posted a 3-under 67 to move to 6-under-par 204. He shares second place with David Toms, who double bogeyed the last for a round of 69, and Tiger Woods, who scrambled his way to an even-par 70.
Rod Pampling, Rory Sabbatini and Scott Verplank, who missed out on the U.S. Ryder Cup squad, are one stroke further back at minus-5.
After weather problems over each of the first two days, players completed their second rounds Saturday morning. The entire third round was completed as scheduled on Saturday.
Cink, who was selected as one of Hal Sutton's U.S. Ryder Cup captain's picks on Monday, closed his second round with five straight pars for a 68.
He returned to Firestone Country Club's first tee for his third round and opened with a par. Cink then got going with a birdie at the second to move to 10 under.
Cink, who owns three come-from-behind wins on tour, came right back to drain a 20-foot birdie putt at the third. From there, Cink showed off an excellent short game as he parred his next nine holes.
The 31-year-old Cink two-putted for par five times and he got up-and-down from off the green four times for par.
Cink lost his drive into the left rough off the 13th tee. After hacking out of the rough, he knocked his third shot to 12 feet. He missed his par putt and moved to the 14th tee at 10 under with a two-shot lead.
Cink ran off four straight pars heading to the 18th as his challengers fell off the pace. He knocked his second shot from the right rough just over the green and chipped his third into the cup for birdie and a five-stroke cushion.
'It's nice to finish off with a birdie, but there's still a lot in front of me,' Cink said. 'I've been around the tour eight years now and I've played a lot out here, and I know that anything can happen in 18 holes. I'm definitely not counting my chickens yet.'
Woods ran off three straight birdies late in his second round to move into a tie for second heading into the third round. He opened round three with a two-putt birdie at the second, but stumbled to a bogey at the next.
The three-time winner of this event two-putted for par on his next five holes before getting up-and-down for par at the ninth.
Woods dropped an 8-iron 9 feet from the cup to set up birdie at the 10th. After his second shot hit a tree and came up short of the 11th green, Woods walked away with his second bogey of the round.
He battled back at the par-3 12th. Woods dropped his tee shot within 7 feet and sank that birdie try. Woods did not hit a fairway the rest of the way as he hit just four of 14 fairways on the day.
Woods scrambled to four straight pars, but his poor driving caught up with him at the 17th. His tee shot went way right and bounced back towards the fairway after hitting a hospitality tent. He left his second shot short in a bunker and was unable to get up-and-down for par. He two-putted from the fringe at the last for a round of even-par 70.
'I hit it so good this morning it was scary.' said Woods. 'I didn't miss one single shot and consequently I made three straight birdies. Then I come out here (for round three) and played like an idiot.'
Woods will likely extend his lead as the No. 1 golfer in the world as the two players who could have passed him in the rankings, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh, are well back. Singh is tied for 36th after a 3-under 67, while Els is tied for 72nd.
Toms, the 2001 PGA champion, collected three birdies over a four-hole stretch from the second. However, he mixed a bogey in at the par-4 fourth. He moved within two shots of the lead with a birdie at the 14th.
Toms pulled his drive way left at the last. His second remained in the rough and his third came up just short of the putting surface. Toms pitched on before two-putting for double bogey to drop to minus-6.
DiMarco picked up three birdies over his first 10 holes to climb to 6 under. He bogeyed the 13th, before birdieing the 15th for a share of second place.
'I was able to birdie three of the par-3s, and that's usually going to help you,' DiMarco said. 'Three twos on the card usually is pretty good. I made some really good par savers too.'
Jerry Kelly fired a 6-under 64 to move into a tie for eighth place. He is joined there by Charles Howell III (68), Angel Cabrera (67) and Luke Donald (65). Todd Hamilton, Robert Allenby, Bob Tway and Lee Westwood are one stroke further back at minus-3.
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  • Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

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    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.


    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

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    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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