47-year-old American wins RBC Heritage for 2nd title of PGA Tour season and 3rd at Hilton Head as wife and sons join celebration
Hilton Head Island, S.C., has built a reputation as a family destination, with sun, surf and sand as the mortar to keep the clan happily bonded together … at least for a week or so.
Stewart Cink’s family has a few more cheerful entries for the family photo album after a recent trip to the Lowcountry. Cink, with his younger son, Reagan, on the bag and wife Lisa and older son, Connor, following closely, won the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage on Sunday at Harbour Town Golf Links. It was his eighth career victory, including three – spanning 21 years – at Harbour Town. One month shy of his 48th birthday, and after having won the Safeway Open earlier this season, Cink is enjoying the ride in the twilight of a rejuvenated career.
“It just keeps getting better,” Cink said behind the 18th green, arm-in-arm with his wife and their sons. “Winning with Reagan caddying back in the fall was amazing, but Connor couldn't be there. It was his birthday, but today he just flew in, changed his flight from Wyoming to be here just for this, and there's no way I was going to not win with him coming all the way down here.
“It was just so great to have the whole family here. It means so much to me. It's just a blast this week.”
It showed in his play. Cink shot a pair of 8-under 63s in the first two rounds, setting up a carefree 69-70 weekend for a 19-under 265 total and four-stroke victory (scores).
American Harold Varner III, who started the day eight strokes off the pace, pumped his tee shot out-of-bounds right on the first hole but recovered to pitch in for bogey and play flawlessly the rest of the way. He made six birdies to shoot 66 and tie Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo for second at 15-under 269.
When Cink won the Safeway Open on Sept. 13, he ended an 11-year winless streak. He likely will be remembered in golf for his villainous role in the 2009 British Open, when he spoiled what would have been a feel-good sixth Claret Jug for a 59-year-old Tom Watson. Handed a lifeline when Watson flew the green at the 72nd hole at Turnberry and failed to save par, forcing a playoff, Cink proceeded to win that four-hole aggregate for his only major championship. It will go down as his biggest victory on the PGA Tour, but that smile late Sunday near the marshland of the South Carolina coast can’t hide the fact that having family share in the celebration is a pretty good feeling, too.
“I did the job that I needed to do today to come away with a little bit of a cushion on the last few holes, which is such a pleasure to experience,” said Cink, who earned $1.278 million from the $7.1 million purse. “It doesn't happen to many people that many times in their career, but to walk down that fairway with a big lead and see that ball come up on dry land here on the 18th fringe, with Reagan on the bag, and I knew Connor and Lisa were out there, it's almost beyond words.”
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