Cink aims higher by resolving major weakness

Updated: 2010-01-07 17:28
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KAPALUA, Hawaii - Stewart Cink says his goals for this season hinge much more on strengthening the weak areas of his game than building on the stirring memories of his major breakthrough at last year's British Open.

Cink aims higher by resolving major weakness
Stewart Cink of the U.S. takes a shot on the ninth hole during the 2009 HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai November 5, 2009. [Agencies] 

Cink landed his first grand slam title by beating fellow American and five-times champion Tom Watson in a four-hole playoff at Turnberry, Scotland after a rare week in 2009 when every component of his game was on song.

"The win last year in the British Open really doesn't affect what I've done this year for preparing," Cink, 36, told reporters while preparing for Thursday's opening round of the SBS Championship.

"I really plan my goals about what I did poorly last year, not what I did great. Winning was a huge moment for my career but ... to try to move forward in 2010 and improve ... I need to look at the weak areas of my game last year.

"The weak areas weren't around at Turnberry. I wish they weren't around any other time of the year but unfortunately they were. I need to address those."

In Cink's mind, the most significant of those weak areas was how he became distracted by a myriad of media demands following his British Open success.

"I learned I just have to be a little more organised and out in front of things, try to get my early-in-the-week schedule nailed down ahead of time so there are no surprises," the six-times PGA Tour winner said.

"Tiger (Woods) has always been the best at that. He manages his energy level through the week where it peaks at the end. I need to learn a little bit of those skills."

Cink will be looking to implement some of those skills this week at the picturesque Kapalua Resort where PGA Tour winners from last year will be vying for supremacy in the opening event of the 2010 season.

"It's always a good sense of accomplishment knowing that you have earned your way here through victory," the American said.

"It's a fun place to play, it's different from any course of the year and it's just a head-start from the rest of the guys who aren't here."

Every competitor in the elite, 28-strong field is guaranteed a cheque at the end of the week in the $5.6 million event on the Hawaiian island of Maui.