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Stewart Cink still overwhelmed by Open win

Stewart Cink came to terms swiftly with his first major victory at last month’s British Open but is still bewildered when he looks at the list of golfing greats above his name on the prized Claret Jug.

Cink spoiled the script for what would have been the most astonishing major victory of all time by beating fellow American and five-times champion Tom Watson in a four-hole playoff at Turnberry, Scotland.

“That’s the part that hasn’t sunk in yet and is the most overwhelming, the history of all those names,” Cink, 36, told reporters on Wednesday on the eve of this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

“Every one of those names (on the Claret Jug) has a story to it. So-and-so shot whatever and maybe a guy blew up and gave away the tournament and a name went on there.

“There’s just so much history,” added Cink, who had previously finished third three times in majors before his breakthrough at Turnberry. “Back to 1872 the names go. Bobby Jones is on there and a lot of guys from way back.

“That part of it, the part on the course when you win and you feel the victory and you triumph, that sinks in right away because as a professional, that’s what I do.

“But the names and the history and the jug and all the stories, that part will be a long time sinking in.”

Watson, aged 59, had been bidding to become the oldest major winner of all time in pursuit of his sixth British Open crown.

He led by a stroke playing the final hole in regulation before missing an eight-foot par putt on the 18th green. Cink went on to win the playoff by six shots.

“I know that most people were rooting for Tom Watson because of the sentimental value of the story,” said Cink, a six-times winner on the PGA Tour. “That’s understandable.”

Champion at Firestone in 2004, Cink will play the first two rounds this week in the company of Australian left-hander Nick O’Hern and Frenchman Christian Cevaer.


August 6, 2009

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