Under The Microscope: Stewart Cink

Full name Stewart Ernest Cink

cinktrophy(1) Born May 21, 1973

Birthplace: Huntsville, Alabama

Height 6 ft 4 in

Weight 14.6 stone

Nationality United States

Residence Duluth, Georgia

Professional wins 13

Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open Champion was born in Huntsville, Alabama. After attending college at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Cink turned professional in 1995. The following year he won the Mexican Open and three events on the developmental Nike Tour. The full PGA tour beckoned in 1997 where Cink claimed the Canon Greater Hartford Open in his rookie season. Although he also won the 2000 MCI Classic it wasn’t until 2004 that Cink’s star really began to rise. That year he had a fifth-place finish on the money list with wins at the MCI Heritage and at the WGC-NEC Invitational. There followed a four year barren spell before Cink again tasted victory in June 2008 at The Travelers Championship. An experienced Ryder Cupper, Cink is extremely popular amongst his fellow pro’s both sides of the Atlantic. Marks his ball with a cross as a symbol of his devotion to his faith. Following his playoff victory over Tom Watson he was greeted by wife Lisa and sons Connor and Reagan.

What’s In Stewart’s Bag

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Bloggy Underfoot: Turnberry On Its Head

One hundred metres from my house are the front gates of Ashford Castle in Cong, County Mayo. Through those gates is hidden a wonderful little nine hole course, which, during the 70’s and 80’s, played host to some of world’s most famous figures and golfers. There sits a plaque on the tee box of the 321 yard third hole, in honour of Tom Watson. On his way to winning the 1983 Open in Birkdale, Watson stayed in Ashford and practised on the course. The first time he reached the dog leg third he asked his caddy how to play the hole. “Hit it out straight with a fairway wood, you’ll be left with 150 odd yards to the green”, was the advice. Watson then asked for a direct line from the tee to the green and was reluctantly shown. Disregarding all cautionary advice, Watson unleashed a towering hard drawing drive over the dense forest that flanks the hole. The ball landed ten feet from the hole and Watson duly obliged by rolling it in for a two. The hole was named “Watson’s Deuce” and that plaque commissioned as a lasting reminder of the feat and the man.

What a week it was. Two instalments back, we discussed the real possibility clip_image006that an older pro could actually go ahead and win Turnberry and just last week we plotted out exactly why Tiger Woods could not and would not triumph. Little did we know then, that both debates were to prove prophetic. Well, sort of.

Okay Tom Watson did not win the Claret Jug, but he won the hearts and minds of a whole new generation of golfers that have never before seen the great man in action on the links. They say no-one ever remembers the runner-up, but I think they will make an exception whenever the 2009 British Open is recalled.

When Watson topped the leaderboard on Thursday evening the general consensus was “Isn’t that lovely to see the old Champ have his day in the Sun”. On Friday evening, the five-time champion had wobbled and recovered before reaching the sanctuary of the clubhouse still leading his peers. Then came the Watson warning shot across the bows of the field; when asked by the Beeb’s Hazel Irvine “Do you think you can win this thing?”, Watson contorted his furrowed features into a glowing smile before answering “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.” On Saturday evening the impossible dream was only one sleep away from becoming a reality. Young Tom had done it in the 70’s and Old Tom was on the brink of glory in the Naughties. His winning threatened to be not only the biggest story ever in golf, but the greatest ever in sport. And though Watson lost in the playoff to the deserving Stewart Cink, he did himself proud throughout the final round, to the point that he even had a putt on the final green to realise the dream. There was no final round collapse, no jitters over short putts, no being enveloped by the peleton. Short of winning, what more could you wish for.

Watson’s efforts will do an enormous amount globally for the game of golf. We’ve already heard that Seve, inspired by Watson’s performance in Turnberry, has vowed to return for the next Open in St. Andrews. Older players the world over can take heart in the reality that age need not be the barrier to success that younger people would like us to believe. Even golf in Ireland will benefit; Watson is a huge fan of golf on our shores and when pressed has always cited Ballybunion as his favourite ever course (an assertion I fully agree with) and Cink prepared for his win in the fabulous Doonbeg. Congrats Stewart and well done Tom for giving us one the greatest majors ever.

Dr. and The Medic: Guiding finger

Problem

You are having a hard time putting straight along your line or have the yips.

Cure

Try changing your grip to alter the way you are perciving the motion or feeling in your arms as you make contact with the ball.

Therapy

A good drill to help you focus on putting straight down your target line is to simply point your forefinger down the shaft. Do not think about making contact with the ball. Instead, focus on pointing your finger along your line to almost tell the ball to where you want it to go. Place the forefinger of your trailing hand so that it is pointing down the shaft as you putt. Use it to help you guide the putter through the ball as you putt. As you finish the putt think about pointing your finger towards the hole.

The Doc’s Rules Quiz

Do you really know the rules of golf? Try these questions and text your answers to 087-3140467. The winner will receive a Kartel shirt as worn by Paddy Harrington!

Question 1 – True or False: A player is entitled to free relief from a burrowing animal hole in a water hazard

Question 2 - True or False: A player applies chalk to the face of his wedge as he thinks that will generate more spin. There is no penalty.

Question 3 - True or False: No penalty is incurred if the player accidentally causes his ball to move in the process of removing loose impediments on the putting green.

Last weeks answers

Question 1 – True or False: In a Stableford competition, at the par 5 2nd hole, Tony gets a gross 5, net 4, for 3 Stableford points. By mistake he records a gross 5 for 4 Stableford points. Tony is disqualified for recording more points than he is entitled to. Answer: False

Question 2 - True or False: A player may only remove loose impediments on his line of putt by picking them up or by brushing them aside with his hand or a club. Answer False

Question 3: True or False: A player may clean his ball whenever it is lifted under a Rule that requires its replacement. Answer: False

Congrats to the winner Adrian McIntyre who wins a classy Kartel shirt compliments of Golfstyle Galway.

I Want One Of Those: Big Bertha Fusion FT-3

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Lest we be accused of always featuring the newest equipment, try the Big Bertha Fusion FT-3 on for size. There have been newer models introduced since which means the FT-3 can be snapped up for a fraction of its original selling price. Why do you need one? Read the on-line reviews, the average mid handicap club golfer can get as much as 40 yards extra distance. You’ll get launch, power and forgiveness that’ll warm you all the way down to your toes at a fraction of last years price. In Henrik Stenson’s bag and could be in yours for around €110 if you look around.

Bet Your Balls-

odds thanks to

boylesports

SAS Masters

Barsebäck G & CC

Malmö, Sweden

23 Jul 2009 - 26 Jul 2009

Søren Kjeldsen 12/1

kjeldsen The diminutive Dane battled back from a disastrous second round 76 in Turnberry, to finish in the top 30, once again proving what a gritty competitor he is. Last years Volvo Masters winner has kept his form into 2009, winning the Open de Andalucia back in March. Kjeldsens three top-tens in his last five events has seen him pass the million euro earnings mark again this season and has him poised to challenge again for end of season honours. A big fish in a small pond this week.

Peter Hanson 14/1

peter hanson For every Mayo –Galway classic there has to be a Sligo-Kerry borefest and in much the same way the SAS Masters has the worst possible slot, following as it does, the British Open. Back to defend is home boy Peter Hanson who muscled it around Arlandastad in impressive fashion to edge out Nick Dougherty. The fact that this years staging is at Barseback wont bother Hanson, he also finished second there in 2004.

Marcel Siem 50/1

siem For German Marcel Siem, the European Tour is a constant battle for survival. After winning the World Cup with Langer in 2006, Siem lost his tour card in 2007, before impressively winning it back at tour school in San Roque. 2009 has followed much the same pattern as the other years for Marcel, amongst countless poor results, his best results were two top sixes on Spanish soil. Did well on the weekend at the last SAS masters staged on the Barseback course in 2006, to finish fourth and he’ll the eyeing this event to move away from the relegation zone in the race to Dubai.

RBC Canadian Open

Monday Jul 20 – Sunday Jul 26, 2009

Glen Abbey Golf Club · Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Luke Donald 20/1

luke donald Last week was a real watershed week for Luke Donald. It reaffirmed him as a real major contender after a wrist injury seriously threatened his career last year. Rock steady in the States this season, only missing two cuts in 14 events. This week’s Glen Abbey venue hosts the event for the second time and it is certainly not a bombers playground. The emphasis this week will be on putting with a 15 under projected winning score. Right up the buoyant Donald’s alley.

Steve Marino 33/1

steve marino If last week didn’t take too much out of Marino he should bring his promising form back to Canada this week. Granted, he faded from the top of the leaderboard to card rounds in the mid 70’s at the weekend in The Open and slip way down to 38th, but The Canadian Open will be a return to what Marino knows best, namely target golf. Finished tied for third last year behind winner Chez Reavie.

Sean O’Hair 20/1

sean o hair The man who brings the phrase “Pushy Parenting” to a whole new level. Sean O’Hair did the equivalent of “divorcing” his father in 2002. Marc O'Hair sold the family business to invest $2 million in his boy's professional future and allegedly subjected Sean to the kind of physical and psychological regimen that would make most drill sergeants blush. Bogeys in junior events were punished by press up, and long runs. Sean was made sign a contract granting his father a cut of all his earnings. Since he broke free, Sean has been enjoying increased success on the PGA tour. Winner in Quail Hollow in March and tied third in last years Canadian Open.


Tailored Shorts

Golf in The Olympics

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It looks like golf could be an Olympic Sport as soon as 2016. The next key date for the international golf federations bid to have golf included in the Summer Games is August 13th. That's the date when the International Olympic Committee executive board will recommend two of the seven sports, including golf, that hope to be included in the 2016 Summer Games. International Golf Federation Global Ambassadors Annika Sorenstam and 2010 European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie made a presentation to the IOC in Switzerland recently and 16 of the games top names including Tiger and Jack Nicklaus have made a video presentation, which has also been shown the board.

Manassero Watch

Matteo-Manassero-d1-Open_2334879 Last week we bigged up the chances of the 16 year Italian sensation Matteo Manassero and he didn’t disappoint. The British Amateur champion shot a one under under 69 in the final round and won the silver medal as we predicted. Paired with Tom Watson for the first two rounds Manassero managed the tricky Turnberry links to finish tied for 13th. In finishing two over, the teenager from Verona became the youngest winner of the silver medal for amateurs since it was introduced 60 years ago. Manassero made five birdies in his final round and would have finished with an even better score if he hadn't bogeyed two of the last three holes. Watch this Italian space.

Duel On The Lough

Fan’s of Shell’s Wonderful World Of Golf will get their very own Irish version tomorrow in Enniskillen. Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy go mano-a-mano for €300,000 at the opening of the fabulous new Faldo designed Lough Erne Golf Resort. The format is 18 holes strokeplay, with the winner pocketing the cash. As Ray Foley says on the radio “Ooooo, no recession on around here!” Check out the Lough Erne website for ticketing info.

Bo Selecta

While the cats away the mice will play and so it turned out at the U.S. Bank Championship when journeyman Bo Van clip_image015Pelt won for the first time on the PGA Tour in 229 starts. A three foot birdie on the second hole of a sudden death playoff with John Mallinger got it done for the nervous Van Pelt. It was a weekend for tall men with Van Pelt, like Stewart Cink standing six feet four inches. Bo’s Dad, Bob Van Pelt played American Football with the Philadelphia Eagles. And no, ladies, Bo Van Pelt is not a South African porn star!

Good Diagnosis For Amy

Though world number two Phil Mickelson sat out his first Open Championship since 1993 last week, he was extremely happy in the knowledge that wife Amy’s breast cancer has not spread to her lymph nodes. He said on his web site that the news "improves our chances of beating this in the short and long term.” Mickelson's mother is also undergoing cancer treatment. After surgery, the family is awaiting pathology results.

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  1. Great article and Interesting reading, Thank you. I had been (up until a year ago) searching for the solution to my putting problems (yips) for years, trust me I had tried & spent everything from side saddle, belly putters, hypnosis, even sticking my tongue out at address which whilst looking stupid also is very uncomfortable, as you have guessed extreme alterations work for a short period but sooner or later (normally sooner) the old grey matter takes over again and along come those negative thoughts that enter your head like a third party telling you “your not going to make this putt”.

    One sunny day at The Belfry Golf Club a year ago I watched a guy on the putting green before his round practising two and three foot putts with a hoop six inches in front of the hole the hoop was only just big enough for the ball to pass and enter the hole, I was intrigued and watched from afar being careful for him not to think I was stalking him, every ball was hit at pace with such confidence that I had to approach him and ask why and what he was using. He replied “This is my little gem PUTT GUIDER she never leaves my side, and is the reason I have become a confident putter, it keeps me focused and interested in practising the most important and valuable shot in golf, the six to two foot putt. Whilst I am stood here practising a shot which I will play at least eighteen times today and will be 20% of my round” we looked around the putting green and he was right the rest of the competitors where on the range thrashing the driver.

    Later at prize giving John as his name turned out to be picked up prizes for the best Nett score, best Gross score and least putts for his round, he didn’t win longest drive, but hey long drives don’t win competitions do they?. As soon as I got home, I searched in Google PUTT GUIDER and clicked on www.puttguider.com, my little gem arrived two days later. I cannot believe the difference she has made, I now spend more time on the putting green with PUTT GUIDER than I do my partner, which is a blessing in its self, more importantly my trophy cabinet is now full because I can now stand up to a short putt knowing I am going to drain it. It has been the best £9.99 I have spent, go buy one now and try it for yourself. www.puttguider.com

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