Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Golf | US PGA Tour

Early signs of Cink's rise back to the top

Having spent most of the last four years in the golfing doldrums, former British Open champion Stewart Cink gave himself a welcome boost as he charged into contention at the Humana Challenge on Saturday.

The 39-year-old American, winless on the PGA Tour since his playoff victory over fellow American Tom Watson at the 2009 British Open, made the most of ideal scoring conditions in the California desert to fire a six-under-par 66 in the third round.

His bogey-free display lifted him into a five-way tie for second place at 17 under, five strokes behind pacesetting compatriot Scott Stallings, who took control of the tournament with a sizzling 63.

"It was a good, solid round," Cink told reporters after signing off with a two-putt birdie at the par-five 18th. "I hit a lot of fairways. These courses, even though the scoring is low, there's danger out there.

"So if you keep it out of the penalty situations, you're going to have a lot of looks at birdie and you can shoot some pretty low scores and you don't have to be spectacular.

"And that's what I did today. I took advantage of my opportunities here and there and made one or two pretty good saves. But it was a pretty nondescript round to be honest."

Cink was especially pleased to soar into contention after missing the cut in his first PGA Tour event of the season at last week's Sony Open in Hawaii.

"I was playing really well in the off-season," said the tour veteran, who has triumphed six times on the US circuit. "I was really in control and I felt like I was doing some good stuff.

"But then Sony, I missed the cut and I was really frustrated by that because I felt like I was going to go out to Sony and play well, and I really didn't play well at all.

"So coming here this week, I was a little frustrated... and to be honest, I didn't expect this. I've hit a lot of really nice shots this week. The biggest thing, though, is my putter has been pretty warm this week."


Cink's barren title run and generally poor form since he clinched his first major crown at the 2009 British Open persuaded him to re-assess his swing with his coach at the end of last year.

Together they decided to return to "some fundamental stuff", more akin to how Cink played in his younger days as a professional.

"For the most part, it's just been a small setup change where I have to keep my balance right and try to rotate instead of moving laterally," Cink said.

"I was having trouble off the tee and my short game wasn't very reliable. Those are areas where you just really have to be on out here to be competitive."

Asked how frustrating the past four years of struggle had been, Cink replied: "Even 2009, when I won the major, that year overall was not a very good year for me. The one major win was obviously great, but the rest of the year stunk.

"And so I had already started to sort of decline a little bit in my performances and I had stopped trusting what I was doing.

"The ball was really telling me that I shouldn't really be very trustful of what I was doing because it wasn't going where I wanted it to go... and so I'm trying to dig myself back to the top."


The big miss
The big miss - My Years Coaching Tiger Woods
The Extraordinary Book of South African Golf
The extraordinary book of South African golf is a must-read for any golf fanatic.
Wilson Mens Reflex Package Set
The Wilson REFLEX Set is a great choice for the all level or occasional golfer


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk

Michael Todt
Lydia's legend just beginning
It's not exactly a sad state of affairs if you're a New Zealand sports fan these days.

Reuters on Golf
The drive to be the best
Rory McIlroy is the best driver in contemporary golf when he is 'on his game' while Adam Scott is...