PGA Tour golfer and Huntsville, Ala., native Stewart Cink was named the United States Sports Academy’s Alabama Athlete of the Month for July.
Cink, a 36-year-old who joined the PGA Tour in 1995, won his first career major when he made a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation at the British Open, then overwhelmed Tom Watson in a four-hole playoff to win by six shots at Turnberry. Cink was never atop the leaderboard until Watson missed an 8-foot putt on the last hole, which led to the playoff. Cink was flawless in the playoff, finishing with two birdies. He moved up to ninth in the world rankings and collected his first career major championship.
Placing second was Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle. The veteran left-hander, formerly of the Birmingham Barons minor league team, threw just the 18th perfect game in major league history in a 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Five days later he set a major-league record for most consecutive batters retired, 45.
Former Auburn athletes, swimmer Cesar Cielo of Brazil and sprinter Kerron Stewart of Jamaica, tied for third place. Cielo set a world record in the 100 meter freestyle (46.91 seconds) at the FINA World Championships, upsetting Frenchman Alain Bernard of France. Stewart posted a personal best time of 10.75 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the Golden Gala in Rome, which makes her the fifth fastest woman at that distance.