WASHINGTON (AFP) – US veteran Stewart Cink polished off a four-shot victory in the RBC Heritage on Sunday, firing a one-under par 70 in the final round as his second win of the US PGA Tour season became a family affair.
Cink, 47, came into the final round with a five-stroke lead and his two birdies and one bogey – for a 19-under total of 265 at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina – were more than enough.
Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo and American Harold Varner shared second on 269, Grillo carding a 68 and Varner climbing the leaderboard with a five-under par 66. Cink had ended an 11-year title drought with his win in the Safeway Open in September – a dry spell that stretched back to his 2009 British Open triumph.
As in his victory last autumn, Cink had son, Reagan, as his caddie, but he said the presence of wife, Lisa, and his son Connor made Sunday’s victory even more special.
“It just keeps getting better,” said Cink, who set 36-hole and 54-hole tournament scoring records on the way to his third career title at Harbour Town. The first two came back in 2000 and 2004.
“Winning with Reagan caddying back in the fall was amazing, but Connor couldn’t be there,” Cink said. “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 really – a blast this week. I just can’t explain it.”
Cink had seized control of the tournament with back-to-back rounds of eight-under par 63 on Thursday and Friday.
There were no fireworks on Sunday, but Cink didn’t need them.
He stayed patient over a front nine that included just one birdie at the fifth, and after his lone bogey of the day at 12 he rolled in a seven-footer for birdie at 17 to keep his cushion nice and comfortable.
Collin Morikawa, gearing up for the defence of his PGA Championship title next month, played in the last group with Cink but couldn’t apply much pressure.
After a birdie at the first, Morikawa bogeyed the second and fourth – where he three-putted – and dropped a shot at 14 before a birdie at 15 saw him finish one-over for the day, dropping into a tie for seventh.
“Obviously shooting one-over in the final round is not going to do it,” said Morikawa, who was born in 1997 – the year Cink won the first of his eight US PGA Tour titles.
The 24-year-old enjoyed his front row view of Cink’s latest triumph.
“To see how much he loves the game still and to see him and his son Reagan just enjoy it together, that’s what’s really cool,” Morikawa said.