Kings of Harbour Town turning 50 this year
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Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley among those eyeing PGA TOUR Champions in 2023
Written by Bob McClellan @ChampionsTour
Turning 50 is a reasonably significant milestone. As such, there typically is a celebration of some sort. Sometimes it’s grand. Sometimes it’s swept under the rug.
But for professional golfers, 50 is something to look forward to. Players become rookies all over again. They get a chance to renew their careers, tee it up with old friends, perhaps right some wrongs. It’s the proverbial new lease on life.
Several players who won on the PGA TOUR will turn 50 in 2023. Two of the most notable are Stewart Cink, whose resume includes eight wins (one major), and Boo Weekley, who won three times.
Both have expressed interest in joining PGA TOUR Champions. Cink remains active on the PGA TOUR and has won as recently as 2021 at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links. Coincidentally, two of his other wins came at the same event, as did two of Weekley’s three wins.
Cink should be in fine form when he’s ready to step out after he turns 50 on May 21. But how soon that will be is anybody’s guess. He’s still playing a loaded schedule on the PGA TOUR and has made three cuts in five events this season.
“Certainly, I’ve thought about the fact that I’m about to turn 50, but I have not at all thought about turning 50 and joining PGA TOUR Champions,” Cink said at the PNC Championship in December. “That’s by design. I feel like if I put my eye there before I turn 50, it would become too easy to lose that focus on the PGA TOUR.”
Cink figures there’s more to focus on than ever, and he’s not wrong. The series of designated events added to the TOUR schedule means there's more money on the line than ever.
“Every time the PGA TOUR announces a (designated) event, it really entices me to try and stay in shape and keep my mind and heart in the right place because those are amazing opportunities to be able to play for that kind of prize money,” Cink said. “I’d love to finish my TOUR career qualifying for, and playing in, some of those. I’ll have a lot of great years on PGA TOUR Champions after that. That’s something I don’t take lightly.”
It would be surprising if Cink didn’t at least dip a toe on the Champions Tour schedule this year, though.
“I’m borderline in denial that my 50th birthday is near,” Cink said. “Of course, I’ve had a lot of friends and other competitors come up and tell me how much I’m going to enjoy it out there, which I know I will. But, I don’t turn 50 until May. I’ve got to figure out how to be the best player on the PGA TOUR that I can until then and then after that … we’ll see.”
Weekley turns 50 on July 23. A number of injuries have limited the Milton, Florida, native over the past five years, including surgery on his right elbow and a hip replacement in January 2021.
But he says he’s healthy now and eager to join PGA TOUR Champions.
“I’ve been practicing a lot on the range, not playing as much, but I feel good,” Weekley said Tuesday. “I’ll play as much as I can on the Korn Ferry Tour, maybe eight or nine events, and a couple of PGA TOUR events before I turn 50 to get ready.”
How has Weekley rehabbed his hip? By working on his farm in Milton.
“I feel good. I just ain’t played enough golf,” Weekley said. “But health-wise, feel good, feel like I can go out and do the things I want to do. I pick up all the seed, corn, everything I need to do. Right now I’m building a room on my house. I feel great.
“But if I’m going to play, I need to play every day. That’s what I haven’t done in the past eight months. The last three weeks I’ve hit more balls and practiced more than I have in the last two years.”
Weekley told Golf Channel in 2021 that he was hoping to get his weight down to around 200 pounds.
“Yes sir, I was, emphasis on the was,” Weekley said. “That don’t stand nowhere near there. I’m around 227 right now.”
Weekley said he’ll use the Korn Ferry Tour events to assess his game and determine what he needs to work on “besides getting my fat butt in shape.” But he’s confident by the time the summer rolls around he’ll be ready to join the guys he regularly dueled when he won in consecutive years at Harbour Town in 2007 and ’08.
“I talked to Joe Durant a while back about it. He’s having a ball out there,” Weekley said. “He said, ‘I just need you to get out here; you’re going to love it and have so much fun.’”
Here’s a look at PGA TOUR winners set to turn 50 in 2023…
|Player||Birthdate||PGA TOUR wins|
|Brian Bateman||Feb. 25, 1973||1|
|Arjun Atwal||March 20, 1973||1|
|Jason Bohn||April 24, 1973||2|
|Chris Couch||May 1, 1973||1|
|Stewart Cink||May 21, 1973||8|
|Boo Weekley||July 23, 1973||3|
|Brett Wetterich||Aug. 9, 1973||1|
|Ted Purdy||Aug. 15, 1973||1|
|Greg Chalmers||Oct. 11, 1973||1|
|Garrett Willis||Nov. 21, 1973||1|
|Chris Riley||Dec. 8, 1973||1|
|Daniel Chopra||Dec. 23, 1973||2|