July 20, 2009

That Cink-ing feeling

by Dan Bilicki In: Golf

The story of the weekend was, no doubt, the incredible run by Tom Watson at the British Open. It’s just too bad that the 59-year-old couldn’t hold it together down the stretch and lost in a four-hole playoff to Stewart Cink.

Everybody is now characterizing Cink as a modern-day grinch for coming from behind to steal the Open, but is that really a fair comparison? It wasn’t even that Cink performed incredibly to steal the tournament; he simply just played his best as Watson fell apart.

Watson’s decision to putt off of the fringe on the 18th hole will resonate as the biggest blunder of his collapse. He just put too much on it and went a good eight feet past the hole to set up a somewhat difficult par putt to win the tournament. So, instead of kissing the Claret Jug after sinking an eight footer, his nerves got the better of him and he pushed the putt wide to enter into a playoff with Cink. From there, he never really had a chance. A 59-year-old guy who has had a hip replacement playing 22 holes in a day at Majors Championship calibre? I wouldn’t have bet on him at that point.

Sometimes we, as sports fans and human beings, get too involved and endeared with underdogs and maybe root for them a bit too hard. That was obviously the story hear with Watson and lost in it is Cink’s performance to come from behind and win his first Major. So, how about instead of mourning Watson’s loss, we start praising Cink’s win? It would be more than fair to the tournament’s actual winner.

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