By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO – John Cook’s bid to become the first three-peat winner of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship was essentially over before it started.
Cook had four bogeys total in his previous two wins, last year at TPC Harding Park and the year prior at Sonoma Golf Club. In Round 1, he had four bogeys in his first six holes.
“Just a tough start, the weather got bad and I didn’t really do much,” Cook said. “Next thing you knew, I was 4 over after six and I hadn’t really done anything wrong. It was just catch-up after that.”
He shot 73 that first day, tied for 17th, and was never a factor from that point. He duplicated the 73 in Round 2, a tough day for scoring, then shot 70-71 over the weekend. He was tied for 20th when he signed his scorecard Sunday.
Cook came to TPC Harding Park as a longshot contender for the Schwab Cup at fourth in points, but needed to win the event and hope Tom Lehman finished T5 or worse. His season had plenty of highs, including wins at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am and the Montreal Championship, but he lost in a playoff in a bid for his first major at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship.
Cook also had two finishes of 50th or worse later in the season, when Schwab Cup points for top-10s was what he dearly needed.
“I had really, really good weeks, and some weeks that were very mediocre,” Cook said. “(Lehman) had tons of top-10s and wins and winning majors, and that’s what you have to do.”