A Claret Jug from which all can take a sip

By Doug FergusonAugust 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
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.
 
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    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.