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Cink sinks Watson fairytale

WILY Tom Watson tried cheering up the downbeat Turnberry crowds after his Open heartache last night, by reminding them: &ldquo;This ain&rsquo;t a funeral you know.&rdquo;<br /><br />The 59-year-old missed the chance to clinch a fairytale sixth Open title after missing an agonising six-foot putt on the final green. Clearly drained, he then wilted to a six-shot defeat to fellow American Stewart Cink in an anti-climatic play-off.<br /><br />But with the Turnberry crowd almost reduced to silence by Watson&rsquo;s painful near-miss, Old Tom still managed a smile to lighten the mood.<br /><br />&ldquo;It would have been a hell of a story, wouldn&rsquo;t it?,&rdquo; said Watson, who won the Open on the same Turnberry links 32 years ago. &ldquo;It tears out your gut like it&rsquo;s always torn out my gut. It&rsquo;s not easy to take. I put myself in position to win and didn&rsquo;t do it.<br /><br />&ldquo;I hit a lousy putt and the play-off was one bad shot after another. Stewart did what he had to do and I didn&rsquo;t give him much competition.<br /><br />&ldquo;But what I take from this week is a lot of warmth &ndash; the crowds were just wonderful to me all week &ndash; and a lot of spirituality. And it was good fun.&rdquo;<br /><br />Champion Cink, meanwhile, spoke of his &ldquo;surreal experience&rdquo; after beating one of his boyhood heroes to claim a first major title. &ldquo;Extraordinary just tips the iceberg,&rdquo; said Cink after his final round 69 saw him level with Watson on two-under-par. &ldquo;Playing against Tom Watson, this stuff just does not happen. I grew up watching him &ndash; he has turned back the clock and I feel so happy just being part of it.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve just felt very calm all week. I played some links golf in Ireland last week and that was very good relaxation and preparation. I also found something in my swing.&rdquo;<br /><br />On receiving the Claret Jug, Cink, 36, added: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m a little intimidated by this piece of hardware. There are a lot of emotions running through my mind and my heart and I&rsquo;m just proud to be here with this.&rdquo;<br /><br />Hopes of a British winner ran high throughout a rollercoaster final round, but despite three Englishman leading the charge, it turned into yet another disappointment.<br /><br />Ross Fisher&rsquo;s assault all but ended with a quadruple-bogey eight on the treacherous fifth when two-shots clear, while Chris Wood, who won the silver medal as leading amateur 12 months ago, brought himself into contention with a best-of-the-day 67, only for his bogey at the last to bring him one shot short.<br /><br />But the most sustained challenge, however, came from Lee Westwood, who led going into the final four holes, only to bogey three of them, including a three-putt at the last which saw him miss out on the play-off. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve gone from frustration to sickness now,&rdquo; said Westwood, who also narrowly missed out at last year&rsquo;s US Open. &ldquo;I had a great chance.&rdquo;