Stewart Cink aims to rise higher by resolving major weakness

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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

KAPALUA, Hawaii (Reuters) - Stewart Cink says his goals for this season hinge much more on strengthening the weak areas of his game than building on the stirring memories of his major breakthrough at last year's British Open.

"The win last year in the British Open really doesn't affect what I've done this year for preparing," Cink, 36, told reporters while preparing for Thursday's opening round of the SBS Championship.

"I really plan my goals about what I did poorly last year, not what I did great. Winning was a huge moment for my career but ... to try to move forward in 2010 and improve ... I need to look at the weak areas of my game last year.

"The weak areas weren't around at Turnberry. I wish they weren't around any other time of the year but unfortunately they were. I need to address those."

In Cink's mind, the most significant of those weak areas was how he became distracted by a myriad of media demands following his British Open success.

"Tiger (Woods) has always been the best at that. He manages his energy level through the week where it peaks at the end. I need to learn a little bit of those skills."

Cink will be looking to implement some of those skills this week at the picturesque Kapalua Resort where PGA Tour winners from last year will be vying for supremacy in the opening event of the 2010 season.

"It's always a good sense of accomplishment knowing that you have earned your way here through victory," the American said.

Every competitor in the elite, 28-strong field is guaranteed a check at the end of the week in the $5.6 million event on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)