KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

Quick Quotes

Harbor Shores

Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Stewart Cink

Q. Stewart Cink with us now at the 84th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Stewart, a 67 for you today, highlighted by a couple eagles. Take us through those holes.

STEWART CINK: Yeah, the par-5s are quite reachable if you hit a good drive so you can be aggressive. I hit some beautiful second shots on the par-5s and was able to get in there like inside ten feet for two eagle putts and made both. Pretty rare you have more than one eagle in a round, but I was able to do that today.

I played pretty well. Overall I gave away a couple shots putting out of position. Nothing the course surprised me about. I knew that you didn't want to be in these positions and I hit it there anyway.

So just execution errors. Not too many. All in all pretty steady round. Good way to start the tournament.

Q. What were your clubs into 5 and 9?

STEWART CINK: 5 I had 5-iron into 5 and a hybrid into 9.

Q. And last year you came into this championship as your debut and jumped right into the heavy mix. What did that do for you out of the gate, and how ready do you feel to kind of get one out here?

STEWART CINK: Well, I feel ready. I felt ready when I started. Haven't really played enough to get like a consistent rhythm of playing out here; still bouncing back and forth a lot.

It's been fun playing on the PGA TOUR Champions events, including Senior PGA and the other ones I played. It's been a blast seeing everybody and different faces and different courses.

But it's serious, too. Everybody plays really well. You can't just come out here and take a nap and expect to win. You have to play really good golf.

I've been close a few times and haven't quite got it yet, but I'm looking forward to one day maybe doing that.

Q. Talk a little bit about how this golf course maybe fits your game somewhat. Do you like what Jack has put into this course?

STEWART CINK: Yeah, it doesn't really fit my game overtly. Like you would think, oh, one of the longer hitters it must be a long course, must fit. That's not the case at all. I think where it fits some of the more intangible parts of golf that I feel strong at, like creativity.

A lot of the greens have quite a lot of undulations, and you don't just have to go over one mound, but a lot of times like more than one mound. And you have double break putts that are not very long, like inside ten feet you'll have double breakers.

I think creativity and being able to feel and see the right way to navigate some of the shots around the greens is a big strength of mine, and so that's the reason I think this course, it sets up really well to my eye and I'm excited to be here for it.

Q. With this being the last year at Harbor Shores, what were your thoughts going into the tournament today?

STEWART CINK: Well, transition is part of the game. I feel like I'll just quote the lady that I played with from Whirlpool. She said this tournament has accomplished what they set out to do here. I don't know what that means exactly, but I feel like that's a really great quote. Sounds like the tournament has done that, and it's exciting to see the crowd out there. Even for an early round on a Thursday there was quite a lot of people supporting us out there.

You feel like they know a lot of golfers because they've been here year after year -- or every other year after every other year. So it's great to see that and the community support.

A sponsor like Whirlpool and KitchenAid is not something you just come across every day in the world of golf. I'm sure the PGA would agree it's been a good run with them, and happy to have been able to come up here and see it at least once. Who knows, maybe in the future it'll be back.

Q. Given your pairing today I'm guessing the words Ryder Cup came up one or two times.

STEWART CINK: Yeah, we talked a little bit about the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup. We have a little bit of that in common. We're both involved in stuff at the moment, so it's kind of cool. I'm not sure what Steve's plans are. He doesn't -- won't tell me exactly. Doesn't tell anybody what he's going to do.

But it's awesome just to be part of Team USA in anything. I just happen to be a golfer. To be able to represent the country and play or captain or vice captain or whatever, be I'm happy to do it. I think it's a really fun experience.

I was vice captain at the Ryder Cup last year for the first time. It was awesome.

Q. You're brought up as a future captain, be it New York or down the road. Is that something you look forward to doing given your experience in that event?

STEWART CINK: Yeah, and I certainly would look forward to doing that, but this is very new for me, because my name was nowhere in the conversation for a long time, and all of a sudden it's in the conversation. I got no idea why, but I get asked a lot of questions about it.

If one the captaincies ever falls to me, I would be over the moon. To be able to do that would be like a dream.

Q. Thoughts on your last three, being able to stay even on -- how difficult was it to stay even 16 through 18?

STEWART CINK: Well, I think the second shot on 18 is probably the most challenging shot on the golf course today just because of the hole location and the wind is into you a little bit there. It's just a long shot.

You got the river or the lake or whatever that is over to the right. Somebody with some geographical knowledge will have to tell me what this is.

Q. It's a river.

STEWART CINK: The river is on the right, and if you go left you just don't have a shot to get close to the hole. I was left of the green a little bit and my partner, Paul Broadhurst, was a little bit left, too. We both hit like miracle shots to get up and down there.

So that's the most challenging shot on the entire course, and there is not even a close second out there. That hole is going to have an over-par -- quite a lot over-par average today I would think.

And then the 17 hole has a tidy little hole location on the front right where it's not short either, so you're going to have to really work hard to get the ball close.

And 16 probably is the most intimidating tee shot on the golf course.

So right there in the closing stretch you've got some holes where you have to be really disciplined and have a really solid game plan, and also execute flawlessly or you're going to probably drop shots.

To play those holes even par, all in all, you know, I was -- I think I probably beat the field average on those holes so I'm pretty excited about it I guess.

Q. She comment on the second shot on 18, was that a shoutout to Jack for the creation of that shot?

STEWART CINK: Well, it's a shot that calls for a left-to-right shot, and Jack probably saw that design and thought, I'm going to make you hit a fade here, because I would hit a fade here - speaking for Jack.

It's kind of the way that this course is designed. There is quite a lot of undulation on the green, and also quite a lot of undulation just off the edge of green where you have mounds and a lot of uneven lies.

The mounds off the edge of green, a lot of times they tie into the green. You got some pretty steep slopes that your ball just won't stay on, and if you're trying to chip out of the rough down those hills, you're just not going to be able to get it close. That's the case on 18.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
144393-1-1041 2024-05-23 18:21:00 GMT

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