Stewart Cink wins the Safeway Open, first win in 11 years
With everything going on in Northern California this week, it is tough to think about just golf. Luckily, the air conditions held off, and the tournament was allowed to proceed.
With professional golf returning to Silverado Golf Club, the Safeway Open got off to a fast scoring start. Harry Higgs, who ultimately finished in 2nd place, ended his Friday round with this BEAUTIFUL albatross!
The scoring continued to go low throughout the weekend, with James Hahn, Brian Stuard and Cameron Piercy entering the final round with the lead at 16 under par. Unfortunately for all of them, they could not handle the pressure and fell off. One man that could was Doc Redman, who shot a 10 under par 62 and entered the clubhouse as the leader at 18 under.
For the final day, it came down to two men: the grizzled vet in Stewart Cink, and the emotional up-and-comer Harry Higgs. Cink had a massive front 9, going 4 under. He then propelled himself into the lead at 11 with this nice little chip in off the green.
Harry was not about to let Cink escape without a fight, though. Higgs was able to continue to battle adversity and hit a MONSTER putt on 14 to pull him into 2nd place and one shot behind Cink.
And after bogeying 15, he hit this masterpiece at 16 to get him into an eagle chance, which he converted.
In the end, though, Cink proved too much to handle, and with a birdie on 18 secured his victory by 2 strokes. This was Cink's first win since his memorable victory over Tom Watson at the 2009 Open Championship. What made this even sweeter for Stewart was that his son, Reagan was on the bag for him. The family affair also saw his wife walk with them throughout the tournament, and the celebration commenced after the victory.
So what does this victory earn for Stewart Cink? Well, for one, a very handsome check of almost $1.2 million, he gets exemption on the PGA Tour through the 2022-2023 season. This is huge for Cink, as this will bring his exemption status up to his 50th birthday, when he qualifies for the PGA Tour Champions. An amazing accomplishment for Stewart Cink, and we will be able to see him out here on the PGA Tour for the future!