Cink Ends Four Years in the Wilderness

Stewart Cink ended a four year title drought when he lifted the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Cink shot a three-under-par 67 to finish at 18-under-par 262, a career best effort for him. It was also only the second time out of 10 tournaments in which he actually ended up winning after going into the final round in the lead.

He held a two-stroke overnight lead before prevailing by one over Tommy Armour III and defending champion Hunter Mahan at the venue where he had won his first career title as a rookie. Cink said in an AP article:

“I know there has been some talk that I have not been a closer. They had every right to say that, because I felt the same way myself. So I felt that I had something to prove to myself. Well I think the first thing is I can’t believe it was this long since the last one. You know, I feel like I’ve played well enough along the way to have won a couple but, you know, sometimes when you have to wait a little bit you have to go through a few extra trials, and it seems a little bit sweeter.”

However, he had to fight off some determined challenges from the two runners-up, who had threatened to take him to a play-off. At 48, Armour was aiming to become the oldest PGA Tour in 2008 but missed a 40-foot put on the 72nd hole that would have tied him with Cink.

Mahan also had a strong finish, shooting birdies on the final two holes but it wasn’t enough to dislodge the leader.

Armour and Mahan both had fourth rounds of 65 for their 263s with Heath Slocum a further stroke back after his closing 67 and three-time major champion Vijay Singh alone on fifth on 266 after a 68.

On the European Tour, Martin Kaymer broke a barren run for Germany by winning BMW International Open at Munich Eichenried, although he had to endure a torrid time before beating Denmark’s Anders Hansen in a play-off.

Kaymer almost suffered a choke of Norman-esque proportions when he squandered a six-shot overnight lead to come home in 75 for a total of 15-under-par 273.

That put him tied for the lead with Hansen, needing to birdie on the par-five 18th to force a play-off. Playing the 18th again, Kaymer hit a six-iron to within seven feet while Hansen’s hopes evaporated after he found two bunkers. Kaymer eventually two-putted for victory.

Kaymer, who had a triple-bogey eight on the 11th hole, was in tears at the victory ceremony, dedicating the triumph to his seriously ill mother. He said:

“It was very exciting today, but to be the first German to win this tournament is very special for me. It was a great support out there today, and I can’t wait to play next year. To win in my country is very special for me. I was leading after three days with six shots, and they were gone after six, seven holes already, and I just kept fighting and brought it home.”

A trio of Englishmen, John Bickerton, Paul Casey and Mark Foster, shared third place, two strokes behind the play-off men at 275.

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