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July 21, 2013

Stewart Cink


Q. (Inaudible.)
STEWART CINK: Thanks. It was a pretty good round. Conditions obviously, to tee off at eight-thirty in the morning are a little bit better. You're dealing with the greens that they're prepared for the later afternoon drying out, so you're dealing with a little bit more moisture. It was by far the most playable day of the week. You still have to shoot a good score, you have to make some putts. I had a great run on the front nine and slowed down a little bit on the back. The holes seemed to shrink up.

Q. What is different with the weather today?
STEWART CINK: The wind is lighter. And it may get up later, I don't know. But it's lighter. This cloud cover, I think, will keep the wind down. If it gets sunny it will get up. The greens are a little more receptive. I actually fixed three pitch marks today and that's the most of the week by far. I think that brings my grand total up by four. Three pitch marks today. You're flying the ball more to the distance that you're accustomed to on a course with firm greens, and not just crazy things short of the hole and short of the green, like we were earlier.

Q. This golf course is the same for everyone, but you can still be frustrated?
STEWART CINK: It's been difficult. I've not been frustrated with the golf course at all. As far as links golf, it's as good as links ever has gotten. It's just wonderful. It makes you think on every single shot, and it's a puzzle out there. I've been frustrated with my own game because I didn't think I handled the conditions very well, especially on the back nine. The back nine this week, I just never felt comfortable. I don't know what the scoring averages are, if it's a tougher nine holes, but it felt like it was more difficult for me. So I was frustrated by my own golf. But the golf course itself presented fabulously by the R & A. With the exception of a couple of those pin placements. I don't need to beat that horse; it's already been beaten to death. It's really a wonderful place to play. I had so much fun this week, I hate that it's over.

Q. (Inaudible.)
STEWART CINK: He's definitely played well in his career to deserve a Major win or more. The only thing that's standing in his way today is that thing between the ear that holds us all back occasionally. It's a tough prospect when you're leading, having never won, and have the monkey on your back, so to speak, and be free and continue to do what you're doing without thinking about getting ahead of yourself, thinking about what may lie at the end of the 18th green. So that will be his biggest challenge out there today with the conditions being a little more tame.

Q. Talking about a different kind of monkey --
STEWART CINK: With Tiger, I think you're bordering on waking the sleeping giant when you start bothering him about something like that. I include myself in your group, we have bothered Tiger a lot about things over the years, and he seems to come through just fine. He will be definitely a force to be reckoned with out there.

Q. Does it surprise you as an observer of the game, that it's been five years since he won a Major?
STEWART CINK: He does, but think about what he's been through in five years. To me it's remarkable that he got back to where he is, No. 1 in the world. Because he had a serious blow to that aura of invincibility. And he just is proving that that's not all he had. He's the best golfer that's ever played, as far as I'm concerned.

Q. (Inaudible.)
STEWART CINK: Never. Not at all. Especially these days, guys are just hitting their stride. I'm 40 years old, too, like Lee, but I don't feel like I've aged any. I feel strong. I feel great out there. I think I've got a lot of years left to go. There is no age barrier, whatsoever, to a guy like Lee Westwood. He's just played so well and been so consistent that this very well may be his day.

Q. (Inaudible.)
STEWART CINK: No, it will do wonders for the confidence. And when you win one it just proves that you have what it takes to come through the gauntlet and they always present the course as difficult. You have a lot of tests out there. And it proves to you what matters the most, that you can come through and escape the flames and be the one on top. And that means everything.end he's not out there feeling like he's worn out, he's not running out of gas. But mentally, does it creep in, how many more chances am I going to get? It probably does when you get in your mid 40s. I don't think Lee Westwood is thinking about being 40 years old today.

Q. (Inaudible.)
STEWART CINK: Well, it's a little bit about that. It's a little bit of a lot of things, really. Equipment has helped. You can still move the ball out there a long way, when -- look at Fred Couples, he's hitting probably top 10 in the field for distance. We've learned a lot more about the golf swing. We can hit shots that aren't straining our bodies quite as much, so we're not breaking down at 40 or 42. And, I don't know, there's a lot of things. Nutrition is there. Yeah, we're working out, we're staying in shape, and there's less back, knee, wrist trouble because we're stronger. We just know a lot more about those fields, and it's helped us to keep our career going longer, and be more productive later into life. The guys back when the Senior Tour first started back in the US, guys would shut it down when they were 42, 43, and they would reappear at 50. Vijay Singh is out here playing and he won't touch the Senior Tour, he's 50 already. There's a lot of factors.

Q. (Inaudible.)
STEWART CINK: Except for the faster part. I don't feel that I've slowed down in any way. I'm longer than I've ever been. My iron shots are long. The only thing that I think is a negative as you get older is that you accumulate more of the negative stuff in your mind, the scars kind of build up. And golf will deal you a few of those. But I don't feel like I'm any slower at all. I feel like I'm more experienced and I know myself more. In golf knowing who you are on the golf course, I think, means a lot more than probably it does to any other athlete in any other sport.

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