This Thursday will be the start of another PGA Tour Tournament, the Shell Houston Open. Some of the best players in the world use this weekend as a tune-up for the Masters while others take a week to relax after Arnold’s tournament. Last week’s winner, Tiger Woods, won’t compete this week, but fans will get to see Rory McIlroy in action, aiming to take back the world number 1 ranking he lost to Tiger.
There are two Georgia Tech alums playing in this week’s tournament, Stewart Cink and Troy Matteson. Cink is coming off of a disappointing Arnold Palmer Invitational, where his score increased each day. Matteson on the other hand is playing to make the cut, since he has only done so in 3 of the 7 events he has played in this year. He needs to play well this week(Top 10 finish) to improve his chances on playing in the Masters, which would still be slim. Cink on the other hand shouldn’t have a problem getting an invite.
Matt Kuchar and David Duval are not participating in the Shell Houston Open this week. This is Kuchar’s second straight weekend where he hasn’t competed, but it is necessary since he played in most of the early season tournaments. I would expect him to come back next week to get one last tournament in before the Masters starts. The same applies for Duval. We are now almost two weeks away from what is, in my opinion, the best golf tournament of the year.
Yesterday Cink finished up the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a +2. That put him at tied for 63rd in the tournament. I’m sure a +2 isn’t how he wanted to finish, but there were some harsh conditions on the course yesterday so it was actually a solid day. It will be interesting to see which tournaments he competes in before the Masters as I’m sure he’ll want to take one of the next two weeks off.
The tournament was suspended late in the day when the leaders were just starting, so be sure to check it out later today and see where Tiger finishes up.
On a day when a lot of players went under par, Cink had a frustrating day on the course. He had two birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey to finish the day +4 and +3 on the tournament. At this point he’s obviously just playing for money, so hopefully he has a nice day tomorrow. On the other end of the standings, Tiger Woods has now taken a two shot lead at -11 and is looking at another tournament win if he can do what he usually does tomorrow.
After the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Stewart Cink is now at -1 for the tournament. He had 3 birdies, 2 bogeys, and a double bogey on a par 5. He didn’t have too bad of a day besides the one par 5, which is really all you’re looking for heading into the Masters. The leader is now at -9, so there isn’t much of a chance for him winning the tournament. He is playing consistently right now, which is a good sign for him and his game.
After the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Stewart Cink is at -2, which puts him at 5 strokes behind the leader, Justin Rose. In reality though, he is really one shot behind the lead because there are only three players below -3 par. Those three players should fall back with the rest of the pack since none of them are named Rory McIllroy or Tiger Woods. Cink finished the day with 3 birdies and a bogey and is in a nice position heading into tomorrow.
Leading up to the Masters, most professional golfers pick and choose which events they participate in. This unfortunately leads to players skipping some tournaments that they should be at. That is the case with the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend. The Arnold Palmer Invitational is one of the bigger tournaments of the year that attracts the world’s best golfers. This year however, players like Rory McIllroy, Luke Donald, Adam Scott, and Matt Kuchar will not participate. That’s unfortunate for the golf community because those are four of the best players in the world in the last few years. It is also disappointing to not see Kuchar there since he is currently Tech’s most recognizable golfer.
The only former Yellow Jacket that will be competing in this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational is Stewart Cink. The former British Open winner will be part of Group 41, which tees off at 1:31 P.M. on the back 9. He is playing with K.J. Choi and Vijay Singh for the first two days, so I would expect him to get some media coverage this week. Hopefully he can play well and get a nice warm up in before the Masters, which is now less than a month away. I’ll keep you update on his performance after each round.