Cink Wins British Open

  • July 20, 2009, 12:45 PM

TURNBERRY, Scotland — Tom Watson stood over an eight-foot par putt this evening on the final hole of a mystical British Open, one stroke away from becoming the oldest major champion in history. For the first time all week, he showed his 59-year-old nerves.

The putt never had a chance.

A little more than an hour later, neither did Watson.

Stewart Cink, who made a 12-foot birdie on the final hole of regulation, took advantage of Watson’s missed opportunity and overwhelmed him in the four-hole playoff to win by six shots.

Watson stood on the 18th tee one last time, blinking away tears. He wasn’t alone in his sadness. Thousands of fans who filled the grandstands for the first time all week sat in stunned silence.

Cink, who was never atop the leaderboard all week until Watson missed the winning putt, was flawless in the playoff and finished with two birdies. As he gazed at the fabled claret jug, he paid his due to Watson, the modern-day King of the Links.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Cink said. “My hat’s off to him. He turned back the clock. Just did a great job. I speak for all the rest of the people here, too.”

Indeed, he did. The loudest cheer was for the player who won the silver medal.

Cink’s birdie gave him 69, and at two-under 278, it looked as though he would be the runner-up.

“It was almost,” Watson said. “The dream almost came true.”

Galaxy Fans Boo Beckham

CARSON, California (AP) -- David Beckham received an ugly reception in his first home game back with the Los Angeles Galaxy, first getting booed then confronting a fan at halftime of his team's 2-2 draw with Italian club AC Milan on Sunday.

Anti-Beckham sentiment ran high as the English star returned after missing half of the Major League Soccer season while on a five-month loan to AC Milan. He was clearly angered by the frequent booing and derisive banners held up in a corner of the stadium where one of the team's fan groups sits.

"I'm not disappointed. It doesn't affect me," he said. "You can't be liked by everyone."

The homemade signs all had messages directed at Beckham. "Go home fraud" read one, with a red slash through his No. 23 jersey number. Another said, "23: Repent," while another read, "Hey Becks, Here Before You, Here After You, Here Despite You." Another read, "Is evil something u are...or something u do."

At halftime, Beckham walked toward the L.A. Riot Squad section and motioned to a fan to come closer. A man jumped down from the seats and was subdued by security before being taken away.

"One of the guys was saying things that wasn't very nice. It was stepping over the line," Beckham said. "I said, `You need to calm down and come shake my hand,' and he jumped over."

The man was arrested by Cal State Dominguez Hills police for trespassing because he left the seating area, a Home Depot Center spokeswoman said.

Vikings Think Favre Looks Good

MINNETONKA, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress says he has watched video of quarterback Brett Favre throwing a football and his motion "looked fine" to him.

Childress spoke to reporters on Sunday at a charity event for former Vikings center Matt Birk. He told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that he has not spoken to Favre in a couple of weeks.

The coach has watched video of Favre working out in Mississippi and says, "I liked his throwing motion, the little bit that I saw on tape."

Favre told The Associated Press last week that he is still testing his surgically repaired throwing arm, but expects to give the Vikings an answer on playing for them by July 30. That's the day the Vikings report for training camp in Mankato, and many expect the 39-year-old quarterback to be there with them.

Favre and the Vikings have spoken openly about a potential deal for most of the summer. He had surgery on his biceps tendon in May and has been throwing to kids at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss., while he works his way back into shape.

Childress said on Sunday that he has not been told directly of any deadline for a decision by Favre.

"I've said all the way along, he's going to let us know when (he's ready)," Childress said. "It's not like we're doing anything but being on vacation right now."

But he was aware of the comments and said team athletic trainer Eric Sugarman and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell gave Childress favorable reports upon their return from a visit with Favre.

"I think (Bevell) thought he was progressing," Childress said. "I think Suge felt the same way."

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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