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August 3, 2001

Stewart Cink


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Stewart Cink for joining us. 22 points through the two rounds. Great position going in the weekend. Why don't you make a couple comments and then we'll go into questions.

STEWART CINK: I was thinking, walking off No. 7 green today, I was plus 20 and the last time I was at plus 20 was in Carnoustie after two rounds. But that was not a good plus 20. So, it feels much better to be plus 20 here, obviously. And then adding one more birdie. I was really in control yesterday and had a good solid round and didn't take advantage of that many opportunities and still came away with some points and today I scrambled a little more, had a couple good breaks and really made a lot of putts. So, if you are putting for birdies and you are making a lot of them, it is going to add up.

Q. What happened at 1?

STEWART CINK: I just hit a pull off 1, straight left, and it was headed towards the markers and it hit one of the condos over there and bounced back in play.

Q. Where does that rank in best breaks?

STEWART CINK: It's one of the better ones. I don't keep a ranking. I told Jim Carter walking down the tee to the fairway that that is probably one for the scrapbook.

Q. How have things gone for you since the U.S. Open? I mean, you're obviously still playing as well, but how have you kind of gone through all that mentally?

STEWART CINK: Well, I pretty much have rode the wave. I've ridden the wave of confidence that I developed there. I played well the week after, and then I was kind of tired at Hartford and hit the wall there and missed the cut. Now I'm rested a little bit. How well I played the U.S. Open, that's still there with me; so I've just got tons of confidence. I felt really good after that.

Q. You have a good chance -- you're in the Top-10 at the Ryder Cup. Good chance to make the team, one. Two, there's some guys here who are behind you who are -- the guys behind you are not here. Is this an important week for you? Are you looking at this that way?

STEWART CINK: Well, I'm not here to try to make the Ryder Cup team. I think playing well will take care of a lot of things, and the Ryder Cup team is one of those things. So I'm here to try to do my best at the INTERNATIONAL. Whatever points that I end up with or whatever, you know, I'm not trying to make the team this week. I won't be doing that at the PGA, evenly either, which is the last tour. I'll just be trying to do the best I can, because I think that a major championship is more important than to be on the Ryder Cup team, and if I do well in the PGA, maybe win it, that will mean more to me than playing on the Ryder Cup team will.

Q. You won the Nike event when it was here in Colorado and you always seem to play well in Colorado. Is there something behind that? Is there a reason why you continue to come back to Colorado? Do you enjoy it here?

STEWART CINK: I really do enjoy it here. It's my -- one of my top two or three tournaments. There's no question about it. I can't really explain the success that I had that was in Riverdale. I played very well that week and won. But I have not really been able to carry that success over to this tournament. But I have had some success in altitude events before. I won two Mexican Opens at 8,000 feet. I feel like I can handle the numbers. You know, as long as it's 10% percent. I can handle that. If it's 12, I don't like to do 12. But the ten percent off the yardage, I can handle that. I've been lucky to hit the ball the right distance, which is the challenge.

Q. You say you take a lot of confidence in how you played in the U.S. Open. A lot of people probably would have taken that experience a different way. Is that just a part of your personality? Can you explain how you have managed --

STEWART CINK: I think that's something -- I think a lot of people get it backwards, okay. Something happens like that, can affect you either way, okay, good or bad. Well, I think that the reason that I am a good player, and the reason that so many of these guys out here on the PGA TOUR are such great players, is that they choose before anything happens how they are going to react to it, okay. So it's kind of like you get the cart in front of the horse and you leave it there. So, I know anything that happens to me on the golf course, if it's bad, I'm forgetting it; and if it's good, I'm never forgetting it. So, at the U.S. Open, I had 71 incredible holes that I played incredibly well; and the last hole, a really freaky situation and everybody knows what happens. I'm not going to the let one little dinky putt ruin anything. I've missed a lots of putts like that. Everybody has. But I've also made a heck of a lot more than I've missed. So I'm just remembering all of the great stuff that I did at the U.S. Open. I don't see any other way to look at it.

Q. Nonetheless, did you have a day or two of really grieving, and apart from that, did anyone help you -- how did other players respond?

STEWART CINK: Let me answer your first question first. Just like I just told her, I have nothing to grieve about, okay, as far as golf. Other things in life maybe, that have happened recently. I played awesome in the U.S. Open. Best I ever played in a major and I gave myself a chance to win. So no, I didn't spend one second grieving. I was on cloud nine after the tournament was over, because I felt like I didn't deserve to be in the playoff. And how the other players reacted, well, the players know the situation that I was in. I had to putt out because Retief Goosen was going to win the U.S. Open. And everyone would have done the same thing. What was I supposed to do, well, I'll wait for you to finish out and I'll go ahead and putt my 2-footer? I couldn't do that. I had to go. So all the players told me -- they backed up everything I did and I have not had one person come and say, you know, "What were you thinking?" Because I know exactly what I was doing and if I had to do it over, I would do exactly the same thing, except I would make it. (Laughter.) 13, I hit a sand wedge about seven feet. 14, I was in the back bunker in two. Driver, 7-wood and up-and-down. Short putt, tap-in. 15, I hit an L-wedge about 12 feet. 17, driver 4-iron 2-putt. 25 feet. 1 was where my ball hit the house and came back in. I hacked it down the fairway and hit a sand wedge about ten feet and made it. 2, sand wedge 30 feet and made it. 8, I was by the green in two and chipped about ten feet and made that.

Q. You carry a 7-wood just for this tournament?

STEWART CINK: Just for this tournament.

Q. Just to get it up?

STEWART CINK: Just to get it up. I've hit it pretty well, though. I might keep it in for the next few weeks.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Stewart, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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