Stewart Cink looks back at his 2009 win in The Open
July 20, 2018
Stewart Cink is a PGA Tour veteran with over several victories among the 550 tournaments he’s played, along with five Ryder Cup and four President’s Cup appearances. However, his 2009 triumph in The Open Championship was his crowning achievement thus far.
Cink’s British Open win may have been overshadowed a bit at the time because that was the tournament where Tom Watson made a serious run at trying to win his sixth Open. Cink’s name was the one engraved on the trophy after he won a four-hole playoff against Watson. He deserved more credit than the media perhaps decided to recognize at that time.
At this year’s Golf Writer’s Association of America tournament at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Cink talked about his Open win during our group interview.
There was nothing about his play in the months leading up to the Open that made him a leading contender. “I was struggling with my game from the second half of ‘08 to early ‘09. About May, two months before the Open, I had scrapped the long putter and started working with a new coach on my putting and my routine, and completely overhauled my entire putting game. I just started over,” Cink said.
Just before the Open, Cink told TV announcer Mike Turico that he “had nothing.” Part of Cink’s attitude had to do with an illness that week that ironically reduced any self-imposed pressure to perform.
Cink said, “That was one time where I didn’t really ever feel nervous. I felt really relaxed. Tom Watson was in the mix so everybody was distracted. I was sick that week and felt really terrible and so that probably helped,” he said.
It must have helped. “On the range I started hitting a little different and well. Thursday was benign and I went low along with other people,” Cink said.
“Friday was back to Open weather. I shot two over but I was hitting really solid. Probably on Friday I started thinking I can really play this,” he said.
Not everything went well, however. “I hit a whiff on number 4, a par 3. I went under the ball and whiffed it. Hit my third shot and made double. I don’t know if there’s a record for that but whiff and win in the same week may not have happened before,” Cink said.
He also maintained a competitor’s perspective about Watson’s play. “Although I was paying attention to Watson, my mindset bounced back and forth between paying attention to myself and paying attention to him. At no point was I thinking ‘I think I kind of want to let him win.’ It was never the case that I wanted to let Tom win,” he said.
“The fact that he was up on the leader board served as a great distraction for me to pay attention to him, and then when it was time to hit my shot I was bearing down. In between shots it was an easy sort of break. I think that may be one of the reasons I was never really stressed out during that week.” Cink said.
Cink summed up his approach to tournament pressure: “Everybody handles it a little differently. Mostly just try to keep focused on your process and not the results. Don’t try to get ahead of yourself and rehearse your victory speech on the fifteenth fairway.”
“You just have to try to stay focused on what you want to do and sometimes it works out.”
It certainly did for him.
Two first-time aces, same hole, same day
Two golfers made their first-ever aces on the par-3 15thhole at Mulligan’s Pointe on the same day, which must be a local record at least.
Maxine Ansbach used her 5-iron for her 142-yard shot July 17, during the Ladies 18-Hole event. Later that day, Robert Mirando relied on his 4-hybrid for a hole in one from 180 yards out.
Local club competition results
The Mulligans Pointe Ladies 18-hole group played a Criers game July 17. Sue Ahern won first place, with Maxine Ansbach in second and Linda Townsend in third. Ansbach’s ace helped, apparently.
Mulligan’s Pointe held its Member/Member Championship July 14-15. Ron Lewis and Oscar Pickenheim won first low gross, with Blasé Gavlick and Greg Macklin in second.
Jim Sadowski and Ken Carruthers won first low net, after a playoff against Brian Hayes and Shawn Jones. Tom Love and Ken Baker finished third low net.
The Rehoboth Beach CC Ladies 18-hole group held a team net competition July 11.
Joan Crowley, Cyndy Simeone, Sharon Emerson, and Pauline Porter won first place net.
Arlene Simms, Jeannie Lindsay, Kim Hutchinson, and Britny Whitby won first place gross.
Judy Holtzclaw, Carole Medd, Barbara Collins, and Sheila Halfpenny (blind draw) finished in second place net. JoAnn Pearlman, Dale Lipnick, JoJo Barrows, and Sally Fogarty took third place net. Fogarty was closest to the pin on the 5thhole, and Lipnick was closest on the 13thhole.
The Kings Creek CC Ladies 9-Hole group played an individual low net game July 11.
Sandy Neverett won first place in the first flight, with Tina Brown in second, Hope Lavachia in third, and Janet Hartman in fourth.
Kathy Nave won first place in the second flight, with Mary Beth Merolla in second, Sue Eisenbrey in third, and Janie O’Connor in fourth. O’Connor also won closest to the pin on the 17thhole.