Saturday, March 30, 2013
Cink still seeking first post-major win
HUMBLE, Texas -- Few people remember the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry for the man who won the tournament. Most know it as the one where Tom Watson was denied his sixth Claret Jug.
Stewart Cink beat Watson that Sunday in Scotland, but he hasn't won another tournament -- and owns just six top-10s -- since.
On Friday, Cink had the low round of the day with a bogey-free, 6-under 66 to go into the weekend 7 under, 3 shots back of leader Steve Wheatcroft.
"I've been threatening to put a round like this together for quite a while," 39-year-old Cink said. "I've been striking the ball really well and just haven't really taken advantage of a lot of opportunities, and today early on a few putts went in, and it's amazing how much bigger the hole looks when a few go in early."
In January, the former Georgia Tech star was in the last group on Sunday in the Humana Challenge, but he finished in a tie for 10th.
"I'm excited to be in position to maybe make a charge, or get within shouting distance of the lead anyway, going into the weekend or into a last round," Cink said. "That's why we play the game."
Perhaps the biggest star this week at Houston is not even in the field. Jason Dufner was in Dallas on Thursday for a kickoff luncheon for the Byron Nelson Championship, of which he is the defending champion. A photograph of Dufner looking bored, disheveled and despondent at an elementary school surfaced on the Internet.
The photograph inspired some of Dufner's colleagues on tour to try to capture his slumbering pose.
Luke Donald, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Kevin Streelman's dog, among others, offered variations of #Dufnering.
Donald's rendition probably best captures the spirit of Dufner's posture and malaise. Donald and Watson managed to reveal in their portrayals something of the way Dufner actually carries himself on a regular basis.
PGA Tour players might have missed the chance to join the Harlem Shake craze, but they nailed this moment.
"It the best thing ever," McIlroy said of #Dufnering. "I've never had so much entertainment."
In his second-round 71 on Friday, Phil Mickelson carried two 3-woods. The 43-year-old, four-time major champion has one 3-wood that's hot like a driver and one that's like a traditional 3-wood.
On Thursday, he carried a driver and a 3-wood.
"As windy as it is, the idea was a little less loft to keep it lower and get it running on the fast fairways."
There is always a method to the lefty's madness. We'll see what he can concoct on the weekend in Houston after making the 36-hole cut on the number.
Top 50 chase
After shooting 79 on Friday and missing the cut in Houston, Geoff Ogilvy could fall out of the top 50 and lose what would have been an automatic berth to the Masters. Even if he doesn't get in through the top 50, he still could earn a spot with a win next week in San Antonio.
Meanwhile, Charles Howell III kept his hopes alive by making the cut with a 3-under total. At 57th in the world, Howell needs an estimated top-5 finish this week to get into the top 50 in the world.