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A Claret Jug from which all can take a sip

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WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio ' Stewart Cink has had possession of the Claret Jug for just over two weeks since his British Open victory, long enough to know that it holds about 2 1/2 pints of any beverage.
 
He had first choice of what was poured ' Guinness, his favorite beer. Then it was filled with Coca-Cola for his teenage sons. Cink lost track of what else has been in golfs oldest trophy, or the number of people who taking a sip from the Claret Jug.
 
He has shared it with friends and strangers alike.
 
Its been in public twice, he said. And both times the response was almost overwhelming to the point where I felt like I needed to somewhat protect it.
 
After returning home to Atlanta, Cink said a group of about two dozen friends went to his favorite restaurant for a celebration. They sat in a corner of the restaurant with the Claret Jug on the table.
 
Then came another celebration at a restaurant that had more of a bar scene, and thats when mayhem broke out.
 
There were a lot of people that wanted to take a sip out of it and get a picture made, and we accommodated I think everyone that was there, Cink said. We stayed around for a few hours doing nothing but that.
 
Cink estimated 75 people at the bar, and he doesnt think anyone was denied a sip from the jug.
 
There was one point where I was thinking, OK, is this a good idea? he said. And it never really was in danger. None of us were really in danger. It was a crowded bar on a Thursday night in a big city. You can imagine.
 
As for what was in the jug that night?
 
I wasnt in charge of that, Cink said. One of my best friends at home took the lead on that. He went to the bar and filled it up. Come to think of it, I dont even know where the tab went on that.
 

 
WESTWOODS RECOVERY: Lee Westwood missed the playoff at the British Open by one shot, a three-putt from some 70 feet following a bunker shot that was among the best shots of his career.
 
It was his closest call in a major, mainly because he was in the lead for much of the back nine. And the Englishman was rightfully devastated, especially upon learning that his 7-foot par putt that he missed became even more meaningful when Tom Watson later bogeyed the 18th hole at Turnberry.
 
Adults tend to react with great sensitivity in such situations.
 
Out of the mouths of babes came some brutal honesty.
 
Westwood spent Monday conducting a junior golf competition, then he flew by helicopter the next three days doing work with his golf academies for kids between the ages of 7 and 16. He described some of their questions as less than subtle.
 
It was interesting, some of the questions that came out, Westwood said. Most people wanted to know what was going through your head when youre in that situation. A couple wanted to know if it was a fake tan or a real tan that I had.
 
As for the unsubtle question?
 
Why did you hit the first one (putt) so hard? Westwood said. So that will bring you down to early with a pretty big bump.
 
Westwood, seeing Watson in the fairway behind him, figured the 59-year-old would make par, so he would have to make his 70-foot birdie putt. He ran it by the hole, then missed the putt coming back.
 
The initial response came from his son as Westwood walked off the 18th green.
 
I was pretty deflated afterward, Westwood said. He said, Dad, you did really well. You finished third. So there you go.
 

 
MAJOR POWER: Tiger Woods already has won 15 times in the World Golf Championships, so he skews the statistics. Even so, the WGCs have a strong record of having a major champions as their winners.
 
Stewart Cink, who won at Firestone in 2004, enhanced those numbers.
 
Every winner of what is now the CA Championship is a major champion ' Woods six times, Mike Weir, Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy and Phil Mickelson. The Bridgestone Invitational counts Woods (six times), Vijay Singh and Cink as its winners.
 
In all, 23 of the 31 winners at WGC events are major champions.
 
The exception comes at the fickle Accenture Match Play Championship. Winners include Woods, Ogilvy and David Toms ' but also Jeff Maggert, Steve Stricker, Darren Clarke, Kevin Sutherland and Henrik Stenson.
 

 
STAYING PUT: Martin Kaymer of Germany started the year with hopes of earning a PGA Tour card. The more he thought about, he wants to concentrate solely on the European tour, and cherry-pick his tournaments in America.
 
So far, it seems to be working out well.
 
I love to come to America, Kaymer said. But the way it worked out this year was very, very good. I played all the big events in America. I played a few more at the beginning of the season in America, and I could play in Europe. I hope I can do the same next year. Thats my plan, definitely for next year and for 2011. Then well see how I feel.
 
Kaymer will have played 10 times in the United States. Along with three majors, three WGC events and The Players Championship, he was given exemptions to the Houston Open, Quail Hollow and the Memorial.
 

 
CINKS STRATEGY: For the second straight summer, a playoff in a major championship didnt start until one of the competitors could make a pit stop for the bathroom ' Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines and Stewart Cink at Turnberry.
 
The difference was Cink really didnt have to go.
 
He wanted to be late to the tee, knowing who ' not what ' he was up against. Cink faced 59-year-old Tom Watson, a hero in Scotland ever before he nearly won the British Open.
 
With the crowd pulling for him so much, I didnt want to be on the tee standing there when he walked up, Cink said. I wanted to be the last on the tee. Because if anything, I wanted him to hear some applause for me walking up there instead of the other way around. So I didnt really have to go to the restroom, but I decided to go anyway, just to take a few extra seconds to go down there.
 
Or maybe it was something else.
 
Im getting old, so sometimes I dont know if I have to go to the bathroom, the 36-year-old Cink said, laughing.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 2009 WGC - Bridgestone Invitational
  • Golf Channel Airtimes