Stewart Cink is an American professional golfer with multiple wins on the PGA Tour. Despite failing to reach the highs of U.S. compatriots like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, Cink has continued to push for his place in golfing history and is probably best known for his 2009 Open Championship win.
Born in Huntsville, Alabama in May 1973, Cink played golf from an early age and competed for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets before turning professional in 1995. During his collegiate career, the talented player was nicknamed Big League Stew due to his professional manner on the course. Cink joined the PGA Tour in 1997 after winning the Mexican Open and three events on the Nationwide Tour during the previous year. In his Rookie season the young golfer took the crown at the Canon Greater Hartford Open earning his first PGA Tour title.
2004 was an incredibly successful time for Cink who enjoyed a fifth-place finish on the money list and triumphed at both the MCI Heritage and the WGC- NEC Invitational. However, Cink’s most notable triumph would come five years later when the then-36-year-old won the 2009 Open Championship. Giving the TaylorMade player his first major title as well as Tour exemption through the 2014 season.
During the tournament, Cink took advantage of mistakes made by Tom Watson, who was on the verge of becoming golf’s oldest major champion at 59 years of age, by making a 12-foot birdie on the final hole. Although the putt only looked good enough for second place, a weary Watson was overcome in the four-hole play-off round that followed, as his U.S. competitor managed to take the crown despite never topping the leaderboard all week.
Cink opened the nail-biting clincher with two pars, finished with two birdies and won the tournament by six strokes after the pair ended the normal proceedings with a two-under score of 278.
“I have to be honest, playing against Tom in the playoff, it’s mixed feelings because I’ve watched him with such admiration all week,” Cink commented after his win. Adding, “And of course, it would come down to me against him in the playoff. And then the golf course is so hard that someone eventually is going to probably lose the tournament with mistakes.”
1997 - Canon Greater Hartford Open
2000 - MCI Classic
2004 - MCI Heritage
2004 - WGC-NEC Invitational
2008 - Travelers Championship
2009 - The Open Championship