Not Purdy But Cink Wins MCI Heritage

By Sports NetworkApril 18, 2004, 4:00 pm
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Stewart Cink birdied the fifth playoff hole on Sunday to defeat overnight leader Ted Purdy and win the Heritage.
 
Cink overcame a nine-shot deficit in the final round to win for the third time on the PGA Tour. The tour record for largest final-round comeback is Paul Lawrie's 10-shot turnaround at the 1999 British Open, but Cink's is the biggest on American soil.
 
'I'm playing well. I've been consistent this year,' said Cink, who pocketed $864,000 for his first win on tour since this event in 2000. 'I've waited a few years for it and it feels great.'
 
At the par-4 16th at Harbour Town Golf Links, Cink drove into a collection area on the left side. Purdy found the first cut on the right and knocked his approach through the green. Cink hit a spectacular iron shot from 75 yards to 6 feet.
 
Purdy, who squandered a four-stroke lead on Sunday, chipped 8 feet past the cup, then drained the par save to apply the pressure to Cink. Cink responded and holed the putt for his second Heritage title.
 
After the putt, it seemed that Cink would don the plaid blazer for the victor. However, rules officials needed a moment of his time. Fans called in and thought that Cink improved his lie on the final hole.
 
Cink drove into a waste area and was allowed to move loose impediments and ground his club, unlike if he were in a regular bunker. The video showed that Cink might have moved some of the sand, which he could not do, but officials ultimately ruled that he did nothing wrong.
 
Now Cink was the champion.
 
'I just moved rocks out of the way,' said Cink. 'We determined that I did everything within the rules. I did what I was told I could do.'
 
Cink fired a final-round, 7-under 64 while Purdy, still in search of his first win on the PGA Tour, struggled to a 2-over 73. The duo finished regulation knotted at 10-under-par 274.
 
Both players had to work in order to reach minus-10. Cink, who played two hours ahead of Purdy, drained an 8-footer for birdie at the 18th to get to 10 under par. Purdy missed the green at the par-3 17th and chipped 16 feet past the hole. He rolled home the par save but missed a 10-foot birdie chance on the 72nd hole that would have won the tournament.
 
The first extra hole was 18 and both players two-putted for par. The 16th was the second playoff hole and the duo had problems off the tee. Cink was in the short grass but had a tree in front of him and Purdy fortunately hit a cart that kept his ball in bounds on the right. Purdy came up short of the green with his second and Cink's ball spun back to 20 feet. Purdy chipped to 5 feet and Cink missed his birdie try, meaning Purdy had to make his par putt to extend the playoff, which he did.
 
At the 17th, Cink had 10 feet for birdie and Purdy had almost double that length. Neither made their putts but Cink would have a tremendous opportunity on the fourth sudden-death hole.
 
The pair was at the 18th tee for the third time on Sunday and both found the fairway. Purdy, who was 30 yards behind Cink, could not get a 7-iron to the green, instead landing near the front bunker. Cink hit a pitching-wedge from 146 yards to 6 feet. Purdy chipped two feet below the hole but was granted new life when Cink's putt never grazed the cup. Both tapped in for pars to set up the win for Cink at 16.
 
'It was a long day,' said Cink. 'I played great today. It was a roller-coaster ride. I feel very fortunate.'
 
Purdy, who won the Nationwide Tour's First Tee Arkansas Classic this week last year, failed to get into the winner's circle for the first time on the PGA Tour but the second-place money will probably seal up his card for 2005.
 
'I wanted to win,' said Purdy. 'I don't play for the money. I'm out here trying to win golf tournaments. I was close.'
 
Ernie Els, who came in second to Phil Mickelson last week at the Masters, posted a 2-under 69 on Sunday and shared third place. Carl Pettersson (67) and Patrick Sheehan (70) joined the three-time major winner at 8-under-par 276.
 
At the start of the round it looked like everyone would be chasing Purdy but Cink stole the show on Sunday.
 
He birdied two of his first three holes, then ran home an 18-footer for eagle at the fifth. Cink closed out his front nine with a 21-foot birdie to get back in the hunt.
 
Cink traded a birdie for a bogey at 10 and 11, but sank an 8-footer for birdie at 15. He played one of the best shots to 18 all week as he made another 8-footer for birdie. Cink was in the clubhouse at 10 under par and Purdy was on the 10th hole.
 
Purdy hit a 4-iron over the hole but through the green at No. 10. His chip came up short of the green and he missed the par putt, giving him a one-shot lead.
 
He dropped a shot at the par-5 15th but still came close to his first win.
 
Davis Love III, the 2003 champion and five-time winner of this event, posted a 1-over 72 and tied for 32nd at 1-under-par 283.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - MCI Heritage
  • Full Coverage - MCI Heritage
  • Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship


    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."

    Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

    You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

    Race to the CME Globe

    Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

    Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

    The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

    Ariya Jutanugarn is tied for the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

    Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

    So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng and Brooke Henderson are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

    Rolex Player of the Year

    The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

    Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

    Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

    Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

    It’s simple math.

    The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

    1st - 30 points

    2nd – 12 points

    3rd – 9 points

    4th – 7 points

    5th – 6 points

    6th – 5 points

    7rd – 4 points

    8th – 3 points

    9th – 2 points

    10th – 1 point

    Vare Trophy

    Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

    Money-winning title

    Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

    Rolex world No. 1 ranking

    World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

    Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

    At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.