Cink Soars to Buick Lead

By Sports NetworkFebruary 13, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Buick InvitationalLA JOLLA, Calif. -- Stewart Cink fired a blistering 9-under 63 on Friday to jump into the lead after the second round of the Buick Invitational. Cink moved to 11-under-par 133 after 36 holes at Torrey Pines.
 
John Daly put himself into contention with a 6-under 66. The former major champion was joined by Steve Flesch in a tie for second at 9-under-par 135. Bo Van Pelt was one shot further back at 8-under-par 136.
 
Defending champion Tiger Woods flirted with the cut line on Friday but it was another big name who ended a streak.
 
Vijay Singh, the second-ranked player in the world, posted a 1-over 73 on the South course at Torrey Pines to snap a streak of 12 consecutive top-10 finishes in which he titled three times.
 
The missed cut was also the first for Singh since The Players Championship last March.
 
Woods started well on the North course, which rotates with the South course over the first two rounds. The world No. 1 birdied each of his first two holes but found trouble soon after.
 
He faltered with a bogey at the fourth and collected back-to-back bogeys from the sixth to fall back to even par, below the projected cut line at the time.
 
'I was off to a great start and then three bogeys right there in a row,' said Woods, who posted a 68 on Friday.
 
Woods recovered quickly, however, and dropped his second shot inside 15 feet for a birdie at the par-4 eighth. At the par-5 ninth, Woods played his third shot from the rough to three feet for another birdie.
 
The 28-year-old closed in fine fashion as well with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 14th. Woods then knocked his approach within four feet for a birdie at the 16th and added a birdie at the last to finish six shots off the lead in a group at 5-under-par 139.
 
'It's definitely reachable to win the tournament from there,' Woods said of his position. 'I don't have too many guys to pass. It's not too bad going over to the hardest golf course. It can be done.'
 
Cink dealt with the South course in the opening round and was faced with the North course on Friday, a layout that has yielded most of the low scores this week.
 
'Yesterday, I played at least as good as I did today, believe it or not,' said Cink, who posted a 70 in the opening round. 'Yesterday the fairways were hard, the greens were hard, and the pins were difficult.'
 
He started with two consecutive birdies from the second and landed his second shot inside eight feet for a birdie at the eighth. Cink then birdied the ninth and made it three straight with a birdie at the 10th after his approach stopped within three feet of the hole.
 
Cink made his surge up the leaderboard on the back nine with a birdie at the 14th. He added a birdie at the following hole and placed his second shot to 10 feet for a birdie at the par-4 16th to move to 10 under.
 
At the par-5 18th, Cink left himself with 25 feet for birdie and converted the putt to match his career best round on the PGA Tour.
 
'I stole one there,' said Cink, he previously shot a 63 in the final round of the 2000 NEC Invitational. 'It was a long bomb and it came at a great time.'
 
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton continued to play well with a second-round 70. Sutton joined Billy Mayfair, Stephen Leaney, Patrick Sheehan and Keiichiro Fukabori in a tie for fifth at 7-under-par 137.
 
First-round leader Kevin Stadler was one shot further back along with Sergio Garcia, Jesper Parnevik, Chris Riley, Luke Donald, Duffy Waldorf, Niclas Fasth, Dennis Paulson, Dean Wilson, Brandt Jobe and Brett Quigley at 6-under-par 138.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 143 with three-time Buick Invitational champion Phil Mickelson surviving on the number.
 
'There's not much more I can do,' said Mickelson, who shot a 69. 'I had to birdie the last few holes to have a shot at it. Hopefully I'll play well tomorrow.'
 
Singh had a birdie opportunity at the ninth, his last, that would have sent him to the weekend but his putt failed to find the bottom of the cup.
 
Joining Singh in the group who missed the cut were Rich Beem, Mark O'Meara and Lee Westwood.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.