Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

U.S. Senior Open: A Pep Talk from Tiger

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- It was a loss for which, on some airlines, John Cook would have had to pay a surcharge, given that it was extra baggage that traveled with him from Scotland on Sunday night.

"Monday was very difficult," Cook said Thursday, though the pain was assuaged some with the 66 he shot in the first round of the U.S. Senior Open Thursday at the Broadmoor Resort.

The Sunday before, Cook needed only a par on the 72nd hole to win the Senior British Open, but bogeyed it instead, then lost to Bruce Vaughn on the first extra hole.

He was not without mechanisms to help him regroup, however. There was the solitary walk he made of a few holes at the Broadmoor on Monday, giving him an opportunity to ruminate in the fresh (albeit thin) Colorado air. There was the Tuesday practice with Greg Norman, who recently lost the British Open on the back nine on Sunday (misery loves company?).

And then there was the phone conversation with friend Tiger Woods.

"We had a good chat the other day," Cook said. "He was very supportive.

"I didn't like the way I finished last week at all. Second is not good. So I had a great practice round with Greg and Mark O'Meara and they were nothing but supportive. And Greg and I . . . when you have it in your grasp like that, you have something a little bit in common. Like we both said, you've got to move on. You try to figure out what the heck happened, so the next time you're better prepared for it. It was a great experience, a great week. I would have loved to have capped it off, but we can cap it off this week."

--John Strege