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Cink-cess! 47-year-old Cink wins 3rd RBC Heritage title


HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — The golf was distinctive for Stewart Cink. What made his third RBC Heritage title actually particular was that his household was there to expertise his age-defying success.

Cink hugged son Reagan, his caddie, after he closed out his four-shot victory at Harbour Town with a stress-free par on the lighthouse-framed 18th gap. Wife Lisa, their different son, Connor, and his fiancee, Jess Baker, had been within the gallery cheering Cink’s second win this season.

“To have a posse like that waiting at the end to celebrate with,” Cink stated, “it’s just an experience you don’t get to have in your life that often.”

Maybe the Cink household has extra such joyous moments forward with Stewart’s resurgence on the PGA Tour.

He shot a gentle, stress-free 70 to cap off a dominant, record-breaking week at an age — 47 — when many gamers are looking forward to the PGA Tour Champions.

Instead, it was Cink ending 4 higher than Emiliano Grillo and Harold Varner III. Grillo shot a 68 whereas Varner, who had the very best end of his profession, fired a 66.

The 30-year-old Varner took discovered loads of encouragement within the man who beat him.

“He’s old and he’s kicking everyone’s (butt),” Varner stated. “Yeah, it inspires me. It inspires me to know that I can play golf for a long time.”

The Cinks had their arms round one another to have a good time.

“I don’t even know if I have the words,” Stewart Cink stated.

He gained for the second time this season — solely he and Bryson DeChambeau have finished that. He broke an 11-year winless drought within the season’s first event, the Safeway Open again in September.

That one appeared to come back out of nowhere. But Cink backed it up with 4 extra top-20 finishes, together with a tie for twelfth final week on the Masters.

He gained $1.278 million, almost as a lot because the $1.404 million for his two earlier victories at Harbour Town mixed.

The second win comes with a significant perk — Cink earned an exemption into the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in June. It would be the first U.S. Open since 2017 for the previous British Open champion.

Cink grew to become the fourth participant to win twice in the identical PGA Tour season after turning 47. Sam Snead, Julius Boros and Kenny Perry, who completed it twice, are the others.

Cink placed on present for the ages by taking pictures 16-under 126 within the first two rounds — shattering the bottom 36-hole rating at Harbour Town of 13-under 129 shared by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson. Cink added a 69 on Saturday to achieve 18 beneath, two higher than Justin Leonard’s 54-hole rating in 2002.

Cink carried a five-shot lead into the ultimate spherical and dared all chasers to come back get him. Nobody made a run at Cink, who led by no less than three pictures all through.

PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa, paired with Cink, opened with a birdie. But bogeys on the second and fourth holes took Morikawa out of the combination.

Maverick McNealy had 5 birdies on the entrance 9 to climb to 14-under, 4 again of Cink, in the midst of the spherical. Consecutive bogeys on the eleventh and twelfth ended McNealy’s surge.

Grillo and Varner got here the closest at 15-under and had been simply three again till Cink’s closing birdie on the par-3 seventeenth, which made all of it however sure he would add one other plaid winner’s jacket to those he gained in 2000 and 2004.

Cink had made 17 birdies and two eagles the primary three rounds. He had solely two birdies Sunday, however that was greater than sufficient to assert his eighth profession victory.

Cink anticipated a dogfight. Instead, he stated he fought the course, reasonably than the sphere, for a lot of the day. After his robust play at Augusta National, he was stuffed with confidence.

“I really felt I had the kind of stuff that was going to be very hard to beat,” he stated.

He was downright inconceivable to chase down after his blazing sizzling begin on Thursday and Friday.

“What’s so amazing is this kind of rebirth that Stewart is experiencing at such an older age,” Lisa Cink stated. “I’m just in awe of how well he’s playing at this time in his career.”

McNealy (67), Corey Conners (68) and Matt Fitzpatrick (68) tied for fourth at 13-under. Morikawa slipped to seventh after a 72, tied with Chris Kirk (67) at 12-under.

Top-ranked Dustin Johnson closed along with his greatest spherical of the event at 66 to complete tied for thirteenth at 10-under. Johnson was the November Masters champ, but missed the reduce there final week and was by no means in competition at Harbour Town.

“I just feel like I made way too many mistakes,” he stated. “Around here, you make mistakes, they penalize you pretty big.”

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