The Loop

Cink claims small victory with 18th-hole birdie

August 14, 2010

HAVEN, Wis. -- Stewart Cink's 3-iron from 222 yards at the 18th hole at Whistling Straits Saturday morning capped a 4-under-par 68 and enabled him to make the cut on the number in the PGA Championship at 1-over 145. But the 2009 British Open champion liked the finish for another reason.

Saving hopes of making the Ryder Cup? Guess again.

"I missed about a 3-foot birdie at 16, so I was more glad to make birdie at 18 to cover that up than to make the cut," Cink said with a wry grin. "Obviously, it was a shot I needed and 3-iron was the perfect club there, if I hit a good shot. But I haven't hit too many good shots this week. I've been fighting my swing all week really, so all and all this was pretty satisfying because I had to fight all the way."

Fourteenth on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, Cink, who has finished no better than T-40 in the year's first three majors, said he doesn't feel like he's auditioning for captain Corey Pavin. But he'd take care of the Ryder Cup if he somehow could improve on his career-high T-3 that he achieved in the 1999 PGA at Medinah CC. "I'm trying to do the best I can in the last major, the PGA," Cink, 37, said. "I've been through this before. If you try to play your way onto a team or into a pick, you're just going to throw up all over yourself. That's not the way to do it.

"I was so disappointed the way I played Thursday (75). My attitude was bad and I let some things bother me. To come back and turn it around, I proved something to myself. I still have something left in the tank. I feel like i'm playing on house money."

-- Dave Shedloski