KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

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PGA Frisco

Frisco, Texas, USA

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Stewart Cink

Q. Can you tell us your version of events at your hole-in-one today?

STEWART CINK: What Padraig said. I mean, it was, I was in the back listening. It was perfect. It's the shot was a tough shot today because it was the pin was in the back left and the wind was out of the left. So really the shot there was not to be going at the flag and I really wasn't to be honest. I was aimed about six yards right that have flag. I just happened to kind of draw it a little bit more up against that wind and it took off on a really nice line. And to be honest I didn't even watch it finish. I saw, when it landed, I knew it was going to be a good shot. It looked a lot like theirs. And the people on the tee reacted as if it was a good shot. So I turned and kind of just faced them and gave a little nod and then that's when it went in. And up by the green everyone kind of went crazy. So I didn't get to see it because I was turned the opposite direction like a dummy. But shots like that, it came off perfect for a hole-in-one. It didn't come off perfect for the shot planned, but that's why we plan to be out to the right a little bit because from what amounts to about a 200-yard shot there, like a full 6-iron, you're not going to be dead on your target every time. So you have to give yourself a little buffer and today that flag stick happened to be my buffer.

Q. How many hole-in-ones for you now?

STEWART CINK: I don't really know exactly. I think it's around eight or nine. But I have had all but one that I remember has been in tournament play. PGA TOUR and now PGA TOUR Champions. So I don't make a lot of hole-in-ones because I don't play that much when I'm home. But I have made one that I remember at home and the rest of 'em have been official.

Q. As a rookie are you in the hole-in-one club?

STEWART CINK: Nope. Didn't know about that until my ball drops. And Padraig, you know, he respectfully let me know that after I made the hole-in-one. I think it might be a part of the hazing. But you know as a rookie you don't get told all the stuff that's good until you got to figure it out yourself and that's one way I figured it out.

Q. And then at one point in that round you guys were a long ways off Padraig's lead. All of a sudden to be in the thick of this mix, what does that feel like for you?

STEWART CINK: Well, it kind of just all happened actually I have to give Lisa a credit. She told me at the turn, I kind of had a dry spell there where I bogeyed 8, bad decision on 8, made a bogey there. I kind of went one direction and Padraig went the other way. And all of a sudden I was like seven back. I don't know if I was ever eight back. I think I was seven. So Lisa said, You know, you're playing fine, but the big thing is that you just seven back of Harrington now. He's kind of like separated himself. She said, Let's just try to like kind of pick our way back into sort of like shouting distance here. It kind of changed my attitude from, I don't know, I wouldn't really say it actually changed my attitude, but it kind of gave me confidence to just instead of getting it all back at once I could just kind of pick away at it. And then, what do you know, the ball finds the hole on 10. And then the ball finds the hole on 13. And then made a good up-and-down on 14. Kind of got lucky on 15. Padraig made a mistake along the way. So next thing you know we're back within shouting distance. So I got to give my illustrious caddie some credit for that one.

Q. Were you in the back of the room for Padraig's bathroom story?


Q. Oh, okay. Well, he told us he got kind of hurried on 16 because he couldn't get into the restroom originally and then when he did it took him a long time. Did you happen to notice that he was having any issues?

STEWART CINK: The only thing I noticed was that -- well I knew he went to the restroom because I was telling a story and he dipped in. Must not have been a very good story, because he just had to go hit the restroom instead of listening to the rest of my story. But then when I got to my ball, he and I both hit it out there pretty far in the fairway and Kats hit it first into the green and I was ready to go and I look back and Harrington was just walking to his ball. So, but, you know, it's not unusual that someone takes a restroom break and it just takes a second. I was going to hit, but it was, it just was in that sort of gray area where I felt like, oh, I'll just wait.

Q. He probably was rushing up.

STEWART CINK: He might have. That happens all the time where you feel like you're making everybody wait and you kind of start to take that personally and so you feel like you need to speed up. I don't know if it affected that second shot of his or not. It may have.

Q. That's what he said.

STEWART CINK: I've been in that position where certainly I felt like the onus was on me to sort of speed it up and then you hit a bad shot and you look back and kick yourself a little bit.

Q. Being three back what's the mentality with you chasing tomorrow?

STEWART CINK: Well, I think -- I'm three back, but it's probably the two players you don't want to be behind in this tournament, to be honest. The two guys who are going to probably that fit this course the best and have the best experience and confidence over their last handful of seasons out here. I'm the new guy, so I'm, I've got the firepower to play with those guys or take over this thing, but it's going to be a dog fight tomorrow. I think there's going to be a lot of good golf and I liked what Padraig said about getting into the mix with the buzz coming down the stretch and trying to handle yourself and make good decisions and keep your rhythm and fight all those demons that exist in all of us. That's why we're out here. If it was anything other than that we would just be at home playing and you know, who cares. So I look forward to it tomorrow. It will feel like a big tournament for sure tomorrow and it's not every day you get to do that.

Q. You feel like you've been able to stick to your game plan pretty much all week?

STEWART CINK: Yeah, I have. I've done a great job of that. Made a couple of sort of silly decisions today that cost me. Both times I didn't get away with either one of 'em. I definitely need to clean that up. Every day this week I have had a couple little moments where I was just kind of brain dead. That's, I think that's unfortunately part of like golf when the calendar flips on a little bit on you. But I can clean that up a little bit and tomorrow if I'm going to take-over both of those guys, I don't think either one of those guys -- both of those guys won't have an off day. One might, but both of 'em aren't going to. So I have to have the mentality of it's probably going to take at least minus 7 out of me tomorrow to win this. So all that means is I got to be a little bit cleaner, a little bit more clear with my decision making and decisive and focus on executing and not looking back and see what happens. I like the way I'm playing. It's a fun course to play. It's going to be a dog fight.

Q. You said earlier in the week that you guys have played a fair amount together. Curious, as Open champions does that kind of create a bond between the two of you?

STEWART CINK: I would say in our case it's much more Ryder Cup and the WGCs I feel like is where I played with -- and the majors overall. Being The Open champion, yeah, he won it a couple times, right, twice. And I won it once. But we never really faced off in it. We played together in the majors, I mean I can't tell you how many times we got paired together over the years in the majors and we played against each other in the Ryder Cup. And we're close in age. We have a lot of similarities between us. Married for a really long time. Our wives are friends. We just go back quite a long way. We have kind of similar personalities when it comes to the way we approach the game. More people probably know about Harrington's because he's more vocal about it, but we have very similar sort of a scientific approach to the way we sort of take this game apart and sort of put ours back together. So I've admired a lot about what he does and I have no doubts he probably feels a little about the same way about what he's seen in me and we just go back for a long time.

Q. What was your best Ryder Cup match?

STEWART CINK: It might have been Oakland Hills. Might have been Belfry. Where we played. He might have played with Sergio. But I just remember him being a tough competitor. Getting it up-and-down from the ball washer and just never gives up. His attitude is one of the best. I mean, just like fights to the death. Just can never count him out. So it actually, I'm honored to be able to play against him in a final round of a big tournament like this because of that. Because I know that he's not going to leave anything out there and so I feel like I should do the same.

Q. You guys are going off in threesomes tomorrow, so having that relationship with Padraig does that kind of ease things a little bit for you going into a final round or is it just so tense that it's shut up and walk?

STEWART CINK: No, I wouldn't say so tense, because you could go down that path, but that doesn't really help anybody in the group. It certainly wouldn't help me to be that way. There will be tension, but that's part of the normal flow of the final group on Sunday of a big tournament, like the Senior PGA KitchenAid event here. So it's, I wouldn't say it will be so tense that we're like head down, grind away, we're going to be grinding plenty, but we'll probably keep each other light a little bit along the way and we'll pull Steve in two. Make fun of his daughter a little bit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
133132-1-1044 2023-05-27 21:08:00 GMT

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