The adventures of Cink Glover and Cabrera


CHASKA, Minn. ' Stewart Cink was behind the par-5 seventh green in two shots at Hazeltine National and faced a tough pitch shot toward the hole positioned near the front portion of the green guarded by water. As he stood over the ball, he noticed his playing partner Angel Cabrera standing left of him, barely in his line of sight.
Cink backed away from the ball, looked at the Masters champion and motioned sideways, essentially telling Cabrera to move it pronto.
Oh, sorry, Cabrera said as he scurried out of the way.
Angel Cabrera Lucas Glover Stewart Cink
Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink wait on the seventh tee during the first round of the PGA Championship. (Getty Images)
Until that point, that may have been the most anyone in the group of this years major winners had said to each other.
We were all in different parts of the golf course, we couldnt talk to each other, said Lucas Glover, the third member of the group.
Cink, Cabrera and Glover went off at 1:35 p.m. (CT) Thursday for the PGA Championships traditional pairing of the years major winners. The three have more in common this year than any other champions pairing in recent memory because each played spoiler in preventing a feel good story from developing.
Cabrera defeated Kenny Perry in a playoff at the Masters, Glover held off Phil Mickelson and David Duval at the U.S. Open and Cink outlasted 59-year-old Tom Watson to hoist the Open Championships Claret Jug.
When the trio shook hands on the first tee ' with the Wanamaker Trophy as the backdrop ' there seemed to be a good, playful vibe. But moments later, the fun and games had turned tense.
Glover didnt make his first par until the sixth hole, Cink double bogeyed the first and fifth holes and was 5 over after five holes and, although Cabrera parred the first three holes, he came unraveled with a double bogey and a bogey on the next two holes.
If you just get yourself out of position a little you can really make a mess, Cink said. You cant get away with any wild shots.
Said Glover: Yeah, we all had different stuff going on.
Oddly enough, it was the aforementioned seventh hole where the momentum turned for the group as all three made birdie. Cink got up and down when he drained a 15-footer. Glover and Cabrera both had looks at eagle but easily tapped in for birdie.
From there the mood was a little more playful.
While standing on the par-3 eighth tee, Glovers caddie Don Cooper threw a chunk of grass up in the air to check the direction of the wind and the grass flew right back in Coopers face. The group shared a hardy laugh and needled Coop for the next five minutes.
Cabrera was the only one who didnt play better from that point forward. The two-time major winner shot 76 with six bogeys, a double bogey and four birdies. Glover and Cink, however, seemed to feed off each other and played well.
The U.S. Open champion ended with a 71 that included five birdies and four bogeys. The British Open champ rebounded with birdies on nine, 14 and 17 to shoot 73. At the end of the day Cink had come a long way since he butchered the fifth hole and heard a member of the gallery blurt out, hes like a gazillion over.
I knew if I could settle down and find a swing that the course would yield some and that I could get back into it, Cink said. Overall, I cant be displeased with 1 over.
It can be said with a fair amount of certainty that there wont be a double major winner this year. Not with Tiger Woods, the ultimate front runner, already, well, out front. But the Minnesotans get golf.
Ive felt great support from the crowds today, said Cink, with the exception of the gazillion comment. This pairing means a lot so thats pretty cool.
Sure, many from here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes may have been rooting against the Big Three during each respective major this year, but the Minnesota golf-crazed saluted the ceremonial pairing as they approached each green. They enjoyed the pairing as much as Cabrera, Cink and Glover enjoyed playing together.
Ive played a lot of golf with Angel and Stewart has been a good friend, Glover said. It was great to have the pleasure of being in that group.
Even with all the speed bumps.
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