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When scores go north, often a fight to bounce back


Stewart Cink felt the sting of an 83 in the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.

It was a beautiful day when Stewart Cink stepped on the first tee and prepared to launch his opening shot at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The sky was blue, the wind was still and the future was bright.

Not exactly the kind of day where one of the best players in the world expects to shoot an 83.

It was a harsh bit of reality for the 2009 British Open champion, who signed for his worst round in a non-major championship.

"It ticks you off," Cink said. "I certainly didn't do any laughing about it."

Although it is rare, even the best players on the PGA TOUR have an occasional bad day. Tiger Woods had a 79 at the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship. Phil Mickelson shot a 78 in the final round of the 2007 Bob Hope Classic. Bubba Watson shot a 79 at the 2011 The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Rory McIlroy shot an 80 in the final round of the 2011 Masters, and Lee Westwood closed with a 79 at the 2007 Masters.

High scores are no respecter of person. Just ask five-time PGA TOUR winner Jonathan Byrd, who had a forgettable 83 in the third round of the 2004 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Byrd, like Cink, said he could not blame conditions; he said the weather was perfect on the Monterey Peninsula that day.

"It's probably one of the top five days I want to forget," Byrd said.

For Cink, the day of infamy began with a double bogey. There was another double waiting on the seventh hole, and he turned in 43. Another double bogey was the lowlight of a back-nine 40.

"It was like a compounded sequence of bad shots," Cink said. "When you hit a shot identical to your playing partners, and his stays in the fairway and yours rolls into the desert, you think, 'It's just a bad break.'"

Perhaps the worst part of the bad round is not even realizing that it's lurking. Sort of like when your tire has a blowout on the freeway. It just sort of happens.

Read the full story here.

Photo by Dunn, Getty Images

By Stan Awtrey, PGATOUR

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