Stewart Cink had one of the most bizarre putting rounds you’ll ever see
Stewart Cink pumped his right fist, then smiled. His son and wife cheered from just off the 17th green at Harbour Town Golf Links. He had just done something Sunday he hadn’t done over the last 3 hours and 30 minutes or so.
Make a putt longer than a yard stick.
His 7-foot, 8-inch bomb for birdie was, surprisingly, his longest made putt to that point during the final round of the RBC Heritage — by a whopping 5 feet, 5 inches. Cink entered Sunday with a five-shot lead and ended it up by four — and through 16 holes, he hadn’t made a putt long enough to come up to his knee.
And yet, he wasn’t defensive, either. He didn’t center-of-the-green Harbour Town to victory — he hit only 12 of 18 greens — and he missed seven putts under 20 feet. But from those points, Cink simply cleaned up and moved on.
“That’s what you need to do around here — keep it in play, which he’s done, hit the greens in the right places,” analyst Nick Faldo said on the CBS broadcast.
On the front nine, where he shot a one-under 35, Cink made 11 feet, 3 inches worth of putts, the longest being 2 feet, 3 inches on the par-4 3rd hole. On the back, where he shot even-par 36, things got wild. He made 21 feet, 1 inch of putts, behind the 7-footer on 17, and a 4-foot, 8-incher on 18.
In all, Cink made 32 feet, 4 inches of putts over the entire round. Which, amazingly, is well short (no pun intended) of the record. CBS reported during the broadcast that the record for the fewest feet of putts made by a champion was 25 feet, 8 inches by Zach Johnson in 2009.
“I was proud of myself for sticking to my guns, the game plan, and just tee to green my execution was — today was one of my best ball-striking days I’ve had in my life,” Cink said. “It was awesome. I’m definitely going to be writing some notes down about my hitting the last four rounds.”