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Archive for Monday, August 23, 2004

Cink sinks competition at NEC

Last player picked for U.S. Ryder team nabs 4-shot victory

August 23, 2004

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— Stewart Cink says his confidence is at an all-time high.

Six days after U.S. captain Hal Sutton made him the last pick for the Ryder Cup team, Cink completed the top performance of his career by turning the final round of the NEC Invitational into a showcase of poise and putting. He never let anyone within two shots of the lead to become the first wire-to-wire winner on tour this year.

"This is huge," Cink said after a 15-foot birdie on the 18th hole for an even-par 70 and a four-shot victory over Tiger Woods and Rory Sabbatini. "It means so much to win in this style ... and never really make it close."

Cink finished at 11-under 269 and earned $1.2 million for his first World Golf Championship title.

Woods bogeyed the first hole by chipping through the green and into a bunker and never crept closer than five shots. Woods finished with a 69.

Sabbatini was the only player to give Cink a scare, making a 20-foot birdie on the 14th hole to get to 8 under, just two shots behind. But the diminutive South African bogeyed two of the next three holes to fall back, and Cink was solid over the last eight holes.

Sabbatini shot 68, his best finish in a World Golf Championship.

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