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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Falling outside of the top 300 in the Official World Golf Ranking after a season-ending missed cut at the Wyndham Championship, Cink limited his schedule to just 14 events throughout the 2019-20 campaign after nursing a back injury earlier last year. He only missed three cuts, but failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs due to a lack of high finishes as he placed top-25 on two occasions. The 47-year-old ranked 74th in GIR percentage, but just 124th in SG: Tee-to-Green.
Cink is stuck in no-man's land, the last few years before the Champions Tour becomes an option. At 46, he finished 179th in the point standings in 2018-19, though he did miss some time with an injury. Being a former PGA Tour champion - and, of course, a major winner at the 2009 Open Championship - Cink will always be able to fall back on his Past Champions status. He played 16 events last season, making half his cuts with three top-25s.
If Cink were say, 25 instead of 45, his last two seasons would indicate he's about ready for a breakout season, but he's not 25 and the fact of the matter is, his upside is extremely limited entering this season. Cink's game began to fall off after winning the Open Championship in 2009 and he only started to regain his prior form two seasons ago. To the surprise of many, Cink actually improved upon that season last year, but looking at his prospects for this season, he may have set the bar too high. Cink posted a runner-up finish and two additional top-5s last season, something he'll be hard pressed to duplicate this season.
Cink surprised nearly everyone with his performance last season. Cink's nearly $1.5 million in earnings was his best number since 2010. Cink got there by recording three top-10s and a bunch of top-25s. He clearly doesn't have the high-end finishes in him like he used to, but he proved last season that he's not ready for pasture yet either. That said, he set the bar awfully high as he doesn't have that many years left of playing at a high level.
Stewart Cink has showed us a bit of everything over the past decade, from consistent top-30 guy, to major champion, to out of the top-125, to just back into the top-125. So which player is Cink? He's probably the guy we saw last year. Still good enough to compete once a month, but not the guy who spoiled Tom Watson's final Open Championship run. The upside just isn't there anymore, which makes him a poor salary cap candidate this season. He should be drafted in most leagues though, albeit pretty late.
"Will Stewart Cink bounce back this year" has been replaced by, "Will Stewart Cink ever bounce back?" As the years go by it seems more and more unlikely that Cink will ever find the form that made him a major champion just a few years ago. The upside is still there and he's not going to plummet down the money list, but I'd have a hard time pulling the trigger on Cink in a salary cap format. In draft leagues he's bound to go before he should, but if he's there in the 70-80 range, he's worth a look.
Although Cink has thoroughly stunk up the joint the last two years, he still remains fully exempt from his 2009 Open Championship victory. Cink hasn't shown anything to make us think he'll somehow revert to his old form this year. However, there's always a chance, and with Cink's upside, it's worth the risk he'll figure it out. Because Cink has played so poorly the last two years, he's not considered a must-have, but the reward outweighs the risk in salary cap leagues. He will get drafted as well, but probably too early because of his history.
Entering last season, it seemed a lock that Cink would bounce back from a less-than-stellar 2010 campaign. After Cink started slowly in 2011, the thought was, it was only a matter of time before he figured it out. After a horrible end to his 2011 season, though, you have to wonder if there's something more to his struggles. It's easy to forget that it was just two years ago that Cink won his first major, but his game has really flattened out since. A rebound seems inevitable still, and maybe he's worth another shot.
Amazingly, Cink failed to record a single top-4 finish last season, yet he still managed to nearly crack the top 50 on the money list. Cink's drop in production was certainly bizarre, and while it's a little disturbing that it came out of nowhere, expect him to get back to the level he reached in previous years. Perhaps Cink fell victim to a major hangover, but whatever the reason he'll be back this year. Cink is generally long off the tee, but not very accurate. When he's playing well, he hits plenty of greens.
There certainly aren't many golfers who are much more reliable that Stewart Cink. For years, Cink has been one of the most consistent golfers on the PGA Tour, and he was finally rewarded last season when he grabbed his first major title at the British Open. Being a major champion can change a golfer's mindset, but it's doubtful that Cink will fall victim to his own success. Cink can certainly improve upon last season's numbers, but if the past is any indication, he'll likely finish somewhere between 10-20 on the 2010 money list. Cink finished 2009 ranked 16th in the Official World Golf Rankings, the same as his 2008 finish.
Stewart Cink is coming off a very productive 2008 season. His earnings number was the second highest total of his career, and that's a problem when looking ahead. Cink may have won last year, but he also blew several chances to win. For some reason he continues to struggle when attempting to close out. You simply cannot spend nearly $4 million on a player that doesn't close well. In draft leagues Cink should go near the end of the first or start of the second round.
Cink had a very consistent 2007 season, but he failed to crack the top-2 at any event. Cink is one of the most consistent players on the tour and you can expect that he'll contend several times during any given season. What separates a good season from a great season are wins, and Cink is certainly capable, it's just a matter of whether everything falls into place. A player like Cink is nice to have on your team because he will put himself in position to win a few times during the year, and if he doesn't, oh well, he just earns nearly $2.5 million.
Cink spent a lot of the 2006 season fighting his swing. One look at his accuracy (148) and Greens (114) rankings and you have to wonder how he did so well. He did rank 35th in putting, but the numbers are deceiving in this case. Cink got off to a sluggish start in 2006. He wasn't playing poorly, but he couldn't put it all together either. During that stretch the putter kept him in tournaments when his ball-striking was not there. As soon as the ball-striking came around, the results soon followed. One look at the results from last year and it's easy to see when it all came together. Early July at the Buick Classic he finished fifth. He followed that with a fourth-place finish the next week. He missed the cut the following week at the British Open, but came back to the States and finished in the top 25 in his next eight events. Look for Cink to continue to play well in 2007. If he can putt as well in 2007 as he did in 2006, his numbers could increase quite a bit.
Cink failed to back-up his incredible 2004 season last year. Cink had a pretty good year, even by his pre-2004 standards, but the $4.5 million season he had in '04 set the bar too high. Cink is not the player that won twice and had 20 top-25s in 28 events. He's good, but not that good. That said, he probably underachieved a little last year. Cink's problem last season was he could not make the big score. He had a handful of fifth-place finishes early on and a third-place finish late, but could not close the deal. He does, however, fit a likable mold, giving himself chances to finish well. He should capitalize more often this year and win one of those times.
More Fantasy News
Dominates for victory at Heritage
Cink won by four shots at the RBC Heritage on Sunday after shooting a one-under 70 in the final round.
Finishes T12 at Augusta
Cink fired a one-under 71 on Sunday at the Masters to finish two-under and tied for 12th.
Quiet Sunday leads to T19 finish
Cink recorded an even-par 70 in the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii to finish in a share of 19th place.
T31 at Sentry TOC
Cink closed with a one-over 74 on Sunday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions to finish 11-under and tied for 31st.
Strong play continues in Bermuda
Cink recorded a seven-under 64 on Sunday at the Bermuda Championship to finish tied for fourth.