Cink Henry Team for US

By Associated PressDecember 6, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 WGC - Barbedos World Cup ST. JAMES, Barbados -- Stewart Cink doesn't know why so many top Americans turned down a chance to play in this year's World Cup. He's just thrilled they did -- it gave him another chance to represent his country.
Cink is in the World Cup for the second straight year, this time teaming with J.J. Henry in the final World Golf Championships event of the season, which starts Thursday. Six other American players ahead of Cink in the world golf rankings declined invitations, but the four-time PGA TOUR winner happily agreed to play.
'The longer I go on playing on the PGA TOUR, the more I get a kick out of playing for the United States,' Cink said. 'It's just something that never gets old and whether it's the President's Cup, the Ryder Cup, the World Cup, whatever, it's just a lot of fun.'
Cink chose Henry as his World Cup teammate largely because of their success together at this year's Ryder Cup, where they were among the lone American bright spots in another easy win by Europe.
Now, they'll aim to be the first American victors at the World Cup since Tiger Woods and David Duval won in 2000.
'We did make a great team,' Henry said. 'When we played together at the Ryder Cup, we played awfully good and I think we're comfortable with each other. We have similar games and styles we play. We both hit the ball about the same distance. Heck, we both putt with belly putters.'
Cink and Henry halved both of their fourball matches at The K Club, plus found out during the Ryder Cup buildup that they each have a lot in common -- even both having sons named Connor.
'It just seemed like a natural fit and it still does,' Cink said. 'We're going to have a good time this week win or lose, and I think that's what it's all about at the end.'
The World Cup -- at Barbados' famed Sandy Lane for the first time -- is a stroke-play event that uses a match-play sort of format, calling for four-ball (best ball) competition Thursday and Saturday, then foursomes (alternate shot) Friday and Sunday.
Wales' Bradley Dredge and Stephen Dodd are the defending champions, with other top pairings including England's Luke Donald and David Howell and Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley.
Cink was seventh among Americans in the world rankings when the invitations for the World Cup were issued in September. Woods, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson all passed, as did David Toms, Chris DiMarco and Chad Campbell.
The U.S. was hardly the only nation to see its top-ranked players decline a chance to come to Barbados and play for a chance to win a $700,000 per-man winner's prize.
Australia's eight highest-ranked players said no, before John Senden -- No. 89 in the world two months ago -- took the invite. South African stars Retief Goosen, Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman all skipped their chance, leaving Rory Sabbatini (who teamed with Immelman to win the World Cup in 2003) as the top choice.
Then again, the Aussies and South Africans may have had some good reasons, too.
Barbados is nearly 6,500 miles from Johannesburg and 10,000 miles from Sydney -- while the tiny eastern Caribbean island is a mere 3 1/2 -hour flight from Florida.
'Nothing against Stewart Cink or J.J. Henry. They are very strong players,' said Donald, the No. 9 player in the world. 'But to have to go that far down on the list, it weakens the overall feel of the tournament just a little bit because they could potentially field a much stronger team.'
But some players, including Harrington -- at No. 8, the highest-ranked player in the field -- defended the Americans who decided not to play World Cup.
Harrington said he thinks the format would have been better served by an in-season date and an once-every-four-years format, not the end-of-year timeframe that the event typically uses.
'The European and Asian players, we're all playing in-season now,' said Harrington, who'll again team with Paul McGinley and be among the favorites on a course they visit and practice on each winter. 'Most of the players here have played recently. The U.S. guys, a lot of them haven't played in six weeks.'
The U.S. has won this event 23 times, but only once since it was incorporated into the WGC schedule in 2000. And Henry said he believes that, even without the likes of Woods and Furyk, he and Cink have a strong chance of ending that drought.
'Are we 1 and 2 in the world for the United States? No, we are not right now,' Henry said. 'But at the same time we are honored to be here and we're looking forward to competing.'
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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

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    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

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    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

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    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”