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Cink was coming off a third-place finish last week at Match Play, his first tournament after a three-week layoff after missing the cut at the FBR Open. He took the break to recharge, some practice here, some skiing there, and his game seemed a bit sweeter to him on Thursday.
"It's the kind of course where you are going to be thrown some curves and you need to adapt and roll with the punches, so to speak," Cink said. "And that's what I was able to do today out there."
He played 111 holes last week at Match Play, had some flight delays going through Atlanta because of terrible weather that hit the East coast, and was so exhausted Wednesday morning that he didn't even want to get out of bed.
"I was really tired. That's when it hit me," said Cink, whose last time at PGA National was as a junior, when Chris Couch won a tournament that featured someone named Tiger Woods. "But I got a good rest and now, you know, the adrenaline kicks in. Here we are."
Defending champion Ernie Els shot 73, as did Camilo Villegas, Davis Love III and Rocco Mediate, among others.
Notes: Play was called at 6:30 p.m. with nine players still on the course. ... Former PGA champion Shaun Micheel, who has a therapeutic-use exemption through the 2010 season for transdermal testosterone gel -- he was diagnosed with low testosterone four years ago -- shot even-par 70 in his first round of the year. He's coming off shoulder surgery. ... Replete with rain gear just in case, Woody Austin took two swings to free his ball from the waterside muck at the par-3 17th. No reprise of the 2007 "Aquaman" scene at the Presidents Cup when he fell into the water, though: Austin stayed dry and saved double bogey.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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