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Record-setting Stewart Cink sails to 5-shot lead in RBC Heritage at Harbour Town

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Stewart Cink saved his easy experience buzzing Friday and cruised out to a five-shot lead by 36 holes in the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links.

Make {that a} historic easy experience.

With a second consecutive 8-under-par 63 on a cool, overcast day, Cink sits atop the leaderboard at 16-under 126 – three photographs higher than the earlier file whole for the event’s opening 36 holes held by Jack Nicklaus (1975) and Phil Mickelson (2002).

The 16-under whole in his first two rounds is a profession greatest – he shot 14 below the primary two rounds in 2001 at Doral. This additionally marks Cink’s first 36-hole lead in greater than 4,600 days (he led after two rounds at the 2008 Travelers).

“Every day I wake up, I remind myself that I’m like a PGA Tour player at age 47,” stated Cink, a seven-time PGA Tour winner who referred to as his first spherical a “smooth ride” and didn’t change his thoughts after the second spherical. “I probably didn’t expect to be here still when I was 47, so it’s a good reminder for me because it keeps me calm and it gives me sort of a sense of reality and a dose of like hey, there’s not really all that much expectations of me that I can just come out here and have fun.”

Cink is 5 photographs away from Corey Conners, who put himself on the primary web page of the leaderboard as soon as once more with a 64 to sit at 11-under 131.

Emiliano Grillo additionally posted 64 in the second spherical and is in third at 10 below.

In a tie for fourth at 9 below are in a single day chief Cameron Smith, who adopted his 62 with a 71; reigning PGA champion Collin Morikawa (65-68); Sungjae Im (68-65), who’s Cink’s neighbor in Georgia; and Billy Horschel (66-67).

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is at 5 below after rounds of 70-67.

It’s arduous to consider that Cink, who received this occasion in 2000 and 2004, hit his first tee shot on Thursday right into a water hazard. Since then, he’s made 13 birdies and two eagles with out a bogey on the 2 playing cards. With his son, Reagan, on the bag – the 2 teamed to win the 2020 Safeway Classic – Cink stated, in easy phrases, he’s accomplished all the pieces properly.

“There hasn’t been a day of crazy makes and hole-outs. It’s just been really solid planning and discipline, combined with good execution,” stated Cink, who received the 2009 British Open at Turnberry. “I’ve had a lot of really good looks at birdies, and I’ve felt very comfortable on the greens, and having Reagan out there is just another level of that comfort that doesn’t always exist when you’re up near the lead on the PGA Tour.

“I love playing golf. I don’t really want to stop doing this as a job, and the guys that come out here year after year get better and better, younger and younger, and they don’t make it any easier, so I have to continue getting more out of myself and managing myself different ways, and Reagan has been a huge help as far as that goes. There’s a lot of work still to come, and I’ve seen leads like this go away quickly and I’ve seen leads like this expand really quickly.

“I don’t see any reason to change what I’m doing.”

Conners is of the identical thoughts. He has completed third in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, seventh in The Players Championship, tied for 14th in the Valero Texas Open and tied for eighth in final week’s Masters in the final six weeks.

He stated he’s as assured about his sport as he ever has been.

“Feel like I’m hitting my lines really well off the tee with irons and on the greens, so, yeah, I would say this is as well as I’ve felt about everything for sure,” Conners stated. “A lot of positives. Giving myself lots of chances and was really nice to see some go in. Hopefully can keep that up going into the weekend.

“I’ve been playing really well and just trust my game and play with the confidence that I have, and good things are going to happen.”


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