Stewart, Connor Cink win Father/Son Challenge with solid finish
Stewart and Connor Cink won the Father/Son Challenge on Sunday, making two eagles in their final five holes for a three-stroke victory in the scramble event.
Connor Cink, a Clemson freshman who preferred hockey over golf as a teen, put the duo in front with a 30-foot eagle at No. 14. His father capped the day with a 20-foot eagle putt at No. 18, the last of nine consecutive 3s in a back-nine 27. They finished with an 11-under-par 61 for 22-under total.
”We just hit our stride out there,” said Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open winner. ”That back nine was just a blur.”
Steve and Sam Elkington and Vijay and Qass Singh tied for second. The Singhs shot 61, and the Elkingtons had a 63.
”Connor and Stewart were too strong today,” Steve Elkington said. ”Who would have picked the Cinks to win the tournament starting the week? And here they did it. They did it easy.”
The three-shot victory was the largest in the Father/Son since 2004. The Cinks also are the second team to win in their first start in event that returned last year from a three-year hiatus after the 2008 edition.
”I think it’s pretty monumental,” Stewart Cink said. ”Connor doesn’t play golf. We’re not talking about a kid who plays in college or has played on various tours. He hasn’t played 30 rounds since he was 14 years old. He doesn’t play golf, but he’s very talented in a lot of his sports.”
Connor Cink played youth hockey while growing up outside Atlanta, and for a time considered trying out for Clemson’s club hockey squad.
”After this week,” he said, ”I might try to hit the links a little bit more often.”
Defending champions Davis Love III and son Dru were fourth at 17 under after a 63. Next came 73-year-old Jack Nicklaus and son Gary, who began the day two shots off the pace but faded with a 65 that left them tied for fifth at 16 under with Curtis and Tom Strange.
”I was relying every time on (Gary), and you can’t do that,” Jack Nicklaus said. ”You’ve got to be a team. I’ve got to contribute my part, and I didn’t contribute my part.”