Cink takes advantage of making cut

By Doug FergusonAugust 15, 2010, 6:56 am

2010 PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Stewart Cink was in the 18th fairway Saturday morning, 222 yards from the flag with a 3-iron in his hand and needing a birdie just to make the cut at the PGA Championship.

Some eight hours later, he was tied for 16th and had an outside shot of playing his way onto the Ryder Cup team.

Yes, it was quite the turnaround.

“I just had to hit a good shot,” Cink said, and he followed that up by making about a 10-foot birdie to complete his second round of 68.

And to think that on Thursday, the former British Open champion was walking down fairways with his head down, on his way to a 77 that presumably ended his PGA Championship early. Cink is 14th in the Ryder Cup standings – the top eight qualify after Sunday – and it appeared certain that he would have to audition over the next three weeks.

Hold everything.

“I haven’t hit too many good iron shots,” Cink said. “I’m just fighting it. But I battled hard to get back into it and make the cut.”

He had his chances to get back to the cut line on the par-5 16th until missing a 3-foot birdie putt. Cink said he was as determined to “cover up” that mistake than make birdie for the cut.

He made it on the number, then made eagle on the 16th in the third round on his way to a 66. That put him at 5-under 211 for the tournament, eight shots out of the lead and probably too far to win.

To make the Ryder Cup team, Cink would need to finish no worse than a two-way tie for fourth. He’s only five shots behind that target, depending on how it goes Sunday.

That won’t be on his mind. Cink has learned over the years that trying to play his way onto a team doesn’t lead to good golf.

“If you try to play your way onto a team or into a pick, you’re going to throw up on yourself,” he said.


CLUB PRO: It took Rob Labritz seven years to get back to the PGA Championship.

He made sure to stay as long as possible.

Labritz played bogey-free over the final 12 holes of his second round Saturday morning to become the only club professional to make the cut at Whistling Straits. The golf director at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y., then held his own with 21-year-old Rickie Fowler for most of the third round.

The only sour part was the finish. Labritz took a quadruple-bogey 8 on the ninth hole, giving him a 74. He was a 2-over 218.

“I will have to take some time to compose myself and then assess what went wrong,” he said. “It was pretty rough to end that way. It was mentally a long day for me and I’m sure for a lot of people. Tomorrow, I plan to go low and will do all I can to make up for today.”

It was the first time he made the cut in three appearances at the PGA Championship.


RYDER CUP DOINGS: Padraig Harrington needed a good showing to help earn his way onto Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

He missed the cut with a double bogey on the last hole.

Luke Donald was holding down the last of four spots available through world points, then shot 77 and missed the cut. Now, Donald is in a bit of a quandary –  whether to play the FedEx Cup playoffs opener in two weeks (which doesn’t count toward Europe’s standings) or go to Scotland for the last qualifying event in Europe.

“I would have liked to have had a good week and add some world ranking points to what I have, but it’s not to be,” Donald said after shooting a 77 on Saturday morning. “Right now, the plan is still to play New York, but I have a couple more days to think about it.”

He said he had spoken to captain Colin Montgomerie and told him he would play The Barclays in New York. But that was before the PGA Championship began. And Donald didn’t anticipate missing the cut.

Donald missed the Ryder Cup last time with a wrist injury.

It would be hard to imagine him not making the team as the No. 7 player in the world. Then again, Montgomerie already is faced with leaving some marquee players off a strong team.


MAJOR FEATS, MAJOR FAILURE: For the second straight year, Camilo Villegas was among a dozen players who made the cut in all four majors. Villegas has the longest active streak in golf, making the cut in 11 straight majors.

The others who made the cut in all four majors this year: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Retief Goosen, Robert Karlsson, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter, Charl Schwartzel, Steve Stricker and Nick Watney.

No one finished among the top 10 in all four majors.

Soren Hansen and Oliver Wilson made the less distinguished list in the majors. They are the only players who have missed the cut in all four majors this year. Brian Gay avoided joining them with rounds of 72-70 at Whistling Straits.


MICKELSON MARK: Phil Mickelson was given free relief after his second shot on the par-5 11th in the third round, and it’s a good thing. Not so much for him, but the fan he hit.

Mickelson’s shot bounced into the rough, hit someone around the arm and came to rest in his lap. He sat so still that it was still in his lap when Lefty arrived, signing yet another glove as a souvenir.

Mickelson stuck a tee underneath him, took his free drop and made his par.


DIVOTS: Senior PGA champion Tom Lehman made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th hole in the third round, using a 4-iron from 217 yards. He exchanged high-fives with Darren Clarke, famous for his own shot on that hole in 2004. Clarke hit a horrific shank, and the CBS slow-motion camera captured every split second of his shot. … The top 18 players going into the final round are from eight countries. … The last player in his 20s to win the PGA Championship was Tiger Woods, who was 24 when he won at Valhalla in 2000.
Getty Images

Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.

Getty Images

Jutanugarn sisters: Different styles, similar results

By Associated PressMay 23, 2018, 10:20 pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn play golf and live life differently.

The sisters from Thailand do have the same goal in the LPGA, hoping their shot-to-shot focus leads to titles.

The Jutanugarns are two of six women with a shot at the Volvik Championship to become the circuit's first two-time winner this year. The first round begins Thursday at Travis Pointe Country Club, a course six winners are skipping to prepare elsewhere for next week's U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

''Everybody has a chance to win every weekend,'' Moriya said. ''That's how hard it is on tour right now.''

Ariya competes with a grip-it-and-rip-it approach, usually hammering a 3-wood off the tee.

Moriya takes a more calculated approach, analyzing each shot patiently.

That's perhaps fitting because she's 16 months older than her sister.

''It's funny because when we think about something, it's always the different,'' she said. ''But we pretty much end up with the same idea.''

Off the course, they're also different.

The 22-year-old Ariya appears careful and guarded when having conversations with people she doesn't know well. The 23-year-old Moriya, meanwhile, enjoys engaging in interesting discussions with those who cross her path.

Their mother, Narumon, was with her daughters Wednesday and the three of them always stay together as a family. They don't cook during tournament weeks and opt to eat out, searching for good places like the sushi restaurant they've discovered near Travis Pointe.

Their father, Somboon, does not watch them play in person. They sisters say he has retired from owning a golf shop in Thailand.

''He doesn't travel anymore,'' Moriya Jutanugarn said.

Even if he is relegating to watching from the other side of the world, Somboon Jutanugarn must be proud of the way his daughters are playing.

Ariya became the first Thai winner in LPGA history in 2016, the same year she went on to win the inaugural Volvik Championship. She earned her eighth career victory last week in Virginia and is one of two players, along with Brooke Henderson, to have LPGA victories this year and the previous two years.

Moriya won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam as the two pairs of sisters to have LPGA victories.

On the money list, Ariya is No. 1 and her sister is third.

In terms of playing regularly, no one is ahead of them.

Ariya is the only LPGA player to start and make the cut in all 12 events this year. Moriya Jutanugarn has also appeared in each tournament this year and failed to make the cut only once.

Instead of working in breaks to practice without competing or simply relax, they have entered every tournament so far and shrug their shoulders at the feat.

''It's not that bad, like 10 week in a row,'' Moriya said.

The LPGA is hosting an event about five miles from Michigan Stadium for a third straight year and hopes to keep coming back even though it doesn't have a title sponsor secured for 2019. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan told reporters he's confident Ann Arbor will be a long-term home for the circuit.

''I can't tell you the specifics about how we're going to do that,'' Whan acknowledged.

LPGA and tournament officials are hosting some prospective sponsors this week, trying to persuade them to put their name on the tournament.

Volvik, which makes golf balls, is preparing to scale back its support of the tournament.

''We're coming back,'' said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. ''We just don't know in what capacity.''

Getty Images

Wise: 'No hard feelings' over Nelson missed kiss

By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 10:18 pm

Aaron Wise left the AT&T Byron Nelson with his first PGA Tour trophy and a seven-figure paycheck. But lost in the shuffle of closing out his breakthrough victory in near-darkness was his failed attempt for a celebratory kiss with his girlfriend on the 18th green.

Wise appeared to go in for a peck after his family joined him on the putting surface, but instead he and his girlfriend simply laughed and hugged. After the moment gained a bit of online notoriety, Wise told reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the young couple simply laughed it off.

"Yeah, I have been giving her some s--- about that," Wise said. "A lot has been made about it. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me going in for the kiss."

At age 21, Wise is now one of the youngest winners on Tour. He explained that while both his girlfriend and mother flew in to watch the final round at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead and eventually won by three shots, he took some of the surprise out of their arrival in true millennial fashion - by looking up his girlfriend's location earlier in the day.

Still getting used to his newfound status on Tour, Wise downplayed any controversy surrounding the kiss that wasn't.

"No hard feelings at all," Wise said. "We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was."

Mmm Visuals / Lancaster Country Club

Giving back: Chun creates education fund at site of Open win

By Randall MellMay 23, 2018, 8:04 pm

South Korea’s In Gee Chun is investing in American youth.

Chun broke through on the largest stage in women’s golf, winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago, and she’s making sure Lancaster, Pa., continues to share in what that brought her.

Chun is preparing for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham, Ala., but she made a special stop this week. She returned to the site of her breakthrough in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Wednesday, launching the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Education Fund. She announced Tuesday that she’s donating $10,000 to seed the fund. She’s expected to raise more than $20,000 for the cause in a fundraising dinner at the club Wednesday evening. The fund will annually award scholarships to Lancaster youth applicants, including Lancaster Country Club caddies and children of club employees.

“I’m excited to be back here,” said Chun, who put on a junior clinic during her stay and also played an outing with club members. “Winning the U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster gave me the opportunity to play on the LPGA and make one of my dreams come true.”

Chun also supports a fund in her name at Korea University, where she graduated, a fund for various “social responsibility” projects and for the educational needs of the youth who create them.

“Education is very important to me,” Chun said. “I would like to help others reach their goals.”

Chun made donations to the Lancaster General Health Foundation in 2015 and ’16 and to Pennsylvania’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust last year. Lancaster Country Club officials estimate she has now made donations in excess of $40,000 to the community.

“We are grateful In Gee’s made such a wonderful connection to our community and club,” said Rory Connaughton, a member of Lancaster Country Club’s board of governors. “She’s a special person.”