Hilton Head ideal venue for Cink after Masters letdown

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ATLANTA (Reuters) - The age-old belief that opposites attract has given Stewart Cink an extra jolt of confidence for this week's Heritage Classic where he will try to rebound from his missed cut at the U.S. Masters.

"It's quite special," the British Open champion told reporters on the eve of Thursday's opening round.

"It's always one of my favorites, if not my very favorite tournament, of the year. It's such a relaxed field.

"The golf course is really unique and it's like the anti-Augusta," added Cink, referring to Augusta National, the permanent venue for the Masters where he recorded successive scores of 76 last week.

"It's flat and everything is very small and closed in whereas Augusta is so large with rolling hills. Everything here is the opposite. So, based on my play last week, I hope that's the opposite too."

Cink said he would have no problem adjusting to the routine of the PGA Tour at Harbour Town after handling the pressures of a major the previous week.


"I don't think it's tough to come here," the 36-year-old Atlanta resident said. "When you gear up and play a major like Augusta, it makes it a bit more relaxing and easier the next week because your game is already prepared.

"The one thing that's hard to prepare for at the majors is that intensity of the golf course and the competition and what it means," added Cink, champion at Harbour Town in 2000 and 2004.

"When you come here, the intensity just seems to melt away and enables you to really relax and be at your best. I've had a lot of success the week after majors. In fact, I think all my wins, apart from my major win, have come after the majors."

British world number five Ian Poulter, sixth-ranked American Jim Furyk and Britain's Paul Casey (seventh) are also competing, plus five-times champion Davis Love III.

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by John Mehaffey)