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Stewart Cink birdied the 18th hole to get into a playoff with Tom Watson, which he won for his first major title. (Redington/Getty Images)

The Daily Wrap-up: Open Championship, Final Round

It was a magical week at Turnberry, one where Tom Watson turned back time and took the golf world on a heck of a ride as he chased his sixth Claret Jug. But in the end, Stewart Cink was the British Open champion.

TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) -- One putt from 8 feet was all that separated Tom Watson from a moment no one imagined possible until he was close enough to make it happen with one final stroke.

On the verge of becoming golf's oldest major champion, Watson finally showed his 59-year-old nerves.

The par putt never had a chance. An hour later, neither did Watson.

"It would have been a hell of a story, wouldn't it?" Watson said.

"And it was almost. Almost. The dream almost came true."

Turns out this British Open was too good to be true.

Stewart Cink, who made a 12-foot birdie on the final hole of regulation that only looked good enough for second place, overwhelmed a weary Watson in the four-hole playoff to win the British Open on Sunday.

To read the rest of this story, click here.

DESPITE HEARTBREAK, WATSON WON'T FORGET THIS AMAZING WEEK

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- The silence oddly was as deafening as those raucous cheers from the massive grandstands by the 18th green about an hour earlier.

Reporters from all over the world, several of whom had been at Carnoustie to cover Tom Watson's first Open Championship victory 34 years ago, filed somberly into the interview room, where he waited patiently Sunday evening, and took their seats.

Finally, Watson could stand it no longer.

"This ain't a funeral, you know," he said with a sad and weary smile.

The scene was reminiscent of the 1996 Masters after Greg Norman had squandered a six-stroke lead and lost to Nick Faldo. The Shark waited for the room to fill, then looked out at the sportswriters and started by saying simply, "I played like (crap), guys."

In each instance, two great players who were hurting inside were disarming in their candor. And the grace with which they handled the aftermath of a day rife with such raw emotion spoke volumes about the champions they are.

To read the rest of this story, click here.

EASIEST HOLE TOUGHEST HOLE
The 559-yard par-5 17th. It has played to a scoring average of 4.432 through 54 holes. There have been 21 eagles, 246 birdies, 157 pars, 28 bogeys, four double bogeys and one "other." The 474-yard par-4 fifth. It has played to a scoring average of 4.454 through 54 holes. There has been one eagle, 30 birdies, 224 pars, 171 bogeys, 29 double bogeys and three "others."

 
SHOT OF THE DAY
ROUND OF THE DAY
It's hard to find a more critical shot than the approach Stewart Cink hit on the 72nd hole in regulation. He stuck his approach to 12 feet, which enabled him to sink the putt to get into the playoff. Remember that amateur who earned a top-five at the 2008 British Open? Well, Chris Wood was back at it this year. Now a pro, the young Englishman shot 67 Sunday to tie for third.

OUTSIDE CHANCE BRINGS CINK INSIDE GROUP OF MAJOR WINNERS

By T.J. Auclair, PGA.com Interactive Producer

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- Call Stewart Cink the Grinch Who Stole Tom Watson's sixth Open Championship if you'd like, but he sure isn't giving the Claret Jug back.

In a week at Turnberry that belonged to the 59-year-old Watson for 71 holes, a costly bogey on the 72nd hole allowed the 36-year-old Cink to sneak into a four-hole playoff at a 2-under 278 total on Sunday. From there, Cink romped to a six-shot playoff victory to become the 138th Open Champion with his first major victory and fourth PGA TOUR title overall.

"I feel like whether Tom was 59 or 29, you know, he was one of the field, and I had to play against everybody in the field and the course to come out on top," Cink said. "I don't think anything can be taken away. Somebody may disagree with that, but it's going to be hard to convince me."

The convincing would be difficult considering what Cink had to do to hope for the outside chance of a playoff to begin with. Playing 30 minutes ahead of Watson and with the excitement around Turnberry at a fever pitch, Cink recovered from a crushing bogey on No. 16 and a short birdie miss on the par-5 17th to birdie the final hole with a 15-foot putt for a 1-under 69 and the clubhouse lead.

To read the rest of this story, click here.

REACTIONS TO WATSON'S PERFORMANCE

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- Though Tom Watson came up just short at the Open Championship, his amazing performance all week provoked an incredible outpouring of thoughts and emotions from his fellow competitors. Here is a sample of their reactions:

"I grew up watching Tom Watson play on TV and hoping one day maybe I could follow in his footsteps at the Open Championship. He's turned back the clock. ... I just feel so happy to be a part of it, let alone win." -- Stewart Cink

“The same Tom Watson that won this tournament in ... '77, the same guy showed up here this week.  And he just about did it.  He beat everybody but one guy.  And it was really special." -- Stewart Cink
 
"He's still got it, obviously.  Don't need me to tell you that.  And this is the kind of golf course and links golf is the format of golf that age isn't a factor and you can still compete because it's played mainly on the ground, and golf courses such as this enable you to do that because you can't try and rip them to shreds." -- Lee Westwood

"I feel terrible for Tom Watson. What an incredible week! He should be proud!" -- Annika Sorenstam on Twitter

To read more reactions to Watson's week, click here.

INSIDE THE ROPES WITH THE PGA TOUR NETWORK

PGA TOUR Network correspondent Brian Katrek offers these observations from Sunday's action. Listen to PGA TOUR Live coverage on XM 146/SIRIUS 209 or at PGATOUR.COM.

While the whole world was lamenting Tom Watson not winning the Open, the Cink family was celebrating. With two teenage sons, and the hectic schedules that come with the territory, Stewart hasn't been able to celebrate too many of his victories with his family. Despite some passport issues at the start of their two-week trip, Lisa and the boys were all there to participate in the Cink family hug on the 18th green. 
 
Ross Fisher didn't win the Open Championship, but he didn't miss the birth of his first child either. I got a look at the contingency plan for Fisher to get from Turnberry to the south of England for the birth if it happened during tournament week, and it wasn't good. First, a 30-minute drive to the airport at Prestwick. Then a 50-minute private jet flight and 50 more minutes in a car on the other side. The price tag ... 41,000 pounds.  Nearly $80,000 to go 400 miles in two hours and 10 minutes. I would want better results for my money.  
 
Did you know that you are not allowed to drive with your fog lights on in Scotland? Neither did I. Almost one year to the day that I found out you are not allowed to talk on a cell phone while driving over here, I learned my next lesson. This time, the episode went much smoother. Last year was very nearly an episode of Cops. Or Bobbies as it were. True story, no fog lights unless there is fog. Who knew?

FEDEXCUP UPDATE

By Mark Williams, PGA TOUR staff

With his tie for 52nd at the British Open, Steve Stricker earned just 15.5 FedExCup points but took over the lead in the standings with 2,059 points. He leads Tiger Woods, who missed the cut at Turnberry, by eight points. This week marks the second career time Stricker has held the No. 1 position in the standings, having led after winning The Barclays in 2007, the first Playoff event of the inaugural FedExCup season.

Stricker is the fifth player to hold the No. 1 position in the FedExCup standings in 2009, joining Geoff Ogilvy (12 weeks), Zach Johnson (nine weeks), Kenny Perry (three weeks), Phil Mickelson (one week) and Tiger Woods (two weeks). The top spot has changed positions four of the last five weeks.

By earning 600 FedExCup points with his British Open victory, Stewart Cink moved from No. 56 to No. 13 in the standings. Cink is primed for a third consecutive run toward THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, having finished 22nd (2007) and 20th (2008) in the final FedExCup standings the last two years.

David Toms (11th) and Jim Furyk (14th) are the lone players without a 2009 win among the top 15 in the FedExCup standings through the British Open. Both players are tied for second in top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR in 2009 with seven each.
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