Turnberry triumph was vindication for Cink overhaul
TURNBERRY, Scotland |
TURNBERRY, Scotland (Reuters) - Stewart Cink said his British Open victory provided total vindication for the wholesale alterations he had recently made to his game.
"When you're having a solid career and you go and just make massive changes, it's a leap of faith to some extent," the 36-year-old told reporters after defeating fellow American Tom Watson in a four-hole playoff on Sunday.
"I trusted myself I would be able to transform myself into a new type of golfer and I guess that transformation, with this Claret Jug in my hand, is now complete."
The 6-foot-4 (1.95-meter) Cink said his golfing overhaul came after a series of poor performances in the latter stages of 2008.
"The second half of the year really stank," said the Ryder Cup stalwart.
"The start of this year I spluttered, didn't play great and took some time off ... and when I missed the third-round cut at the Players Championship (in May) I decided, okay whatever I'm doing isn't working."
The components of his game Cink wanted to alter the most were his putting and thinking.
"It started with the removal of the long putter," said the six-times PGA Tour winner. "I went to the short putter.
"I needed to change my mental outlook too because I really did not have much of a pre-shot routine working. I decided I needed to get something more regimented, a routine I could lean on under pressure.
"I thought if I stayed with the long putter it would be easy for me to fall back into the old warm and fuzzy feelings so I decided to scrap everything and start over with the short putter."
Cink said his confidence started to return when he tied for 27th in last month's U.S. Open.
"I actually believed I could win this (British Open) and in the past few months I probably wouldn't have believed that," he said.
"I never used to be one of the best players to never have won a major but this week I just believed I had something good."
(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)
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