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It was a special Sunday for Stewart Cink and his family at the Safeway Open. (Getty Images) 

Teeing Off

FAMILY FUN FOR CINK AND SON IN NAPA

It was tough to figure out who was more excited in the end. Stewart Cink or his son Reagan. Cink won the Safeway Open on Sunday with Reagan on the bag in Napa, California, ending a long winless drought for dad and capping the first event of the PGA TOUR’s 2020-2021 season. “He’s a great kid to be around,” Cink said. “He knows the game in and out, like a PGA TOUR player himself. He did a great job keeping me positive and loose out there. All seven days we were out here, it’s been a blast.” This was the fourth time Reagan, 23, caddied for his father in a TOUR event. And the Cink family was quick to point out that their other son, Connor, wasn’t onsite but was celebrating a birthday today. Cink shot a final-round 7-under 65 to clip Harry Higgs by two shots. Cink’s previous win came 11 years, one month and 25 days ago at The Open Championship. “When you get 47 like I am, you don’t really, really know if you’re going to close the door on another one,” said Cink, who now has seven TOUR wins. He is now fully exempt through the 2022-23 seasons, earned 500 FedExCup points and gets into THE PLAYERS Championship and the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

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U.S. OPEN ARRIVES AT STORIED WINGED FOOT

Mention Winged Foot to the best players to ever swing a club and the responses are similar. First comes a sigh, then a shake of the head. A sampling: “Probably the hardest golf course of all time,” said Jim Colbert. Added Justin Thomas after a recent visit: “It was very hard.” And then there’s this from Webb Simpson: “It’s just a brutally hard golf course.” In the end, Winged Foot will win. But someone will hoist the trophy this week in the 120th edition of the U.S. Open. The storylines are deep. Will Dustin Johnson keep the momentum going after dominating the FedExCup Playoffs and winning the FedExCup? Will Tiger win No. 83 for the most TOUR victories ever? Or will Phil Mickelson redeem himself after a disastrous finish in 2006 at Winged Foot? And just in case you forgot, this is the only major title that has eluded Lefty, who has finished runner-up six times. So let’s get prepped. Here are nine things to know about the famed course before settling in for a week of fun (at least for those not competing). And here is how to follow all the action.

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MICKELSON LOOKING FOR ACCURACY TUNE-UP

The aforementioned Phil Mickelson storyline for the U.S. Open actually started last week. Mickelson was in the field at the Safeway Open and battled accuracy issues off the tee, something that needs to be corrected with Winged Foot lurking. “It's not a complete mess, but I'm not striking it the way I've been striking it the last few months,” Mickelson said. “It's got to click in the next few days.” But there are two positives Mickelson can take to Winged Foot: The fairways at the Safeway Open are tighter than most TOUR courses, and he won his PGA TOUR Champions debut last month.
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Video Of The Week

The Turn

MIC CHECK

“It’s the culmination of so many things. It’s so special to have Reagan and Stewart do this together. I’ve watched him work so hard for so many years without the results. So for this to show up now, it’s an amazing blessing.” Lisa Cink, wife of Stewart and mother of Reagan

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BY THE NUMBERS


2 Score for Harry Higgs on the par-5 ninth hole on Friday at the Safeway Open. The rare albatross vaulted him into contention entering the weekend.

2 – Bogeys for Stewart Cink all week at the Safeway Open.

10 Wins on PGA TOUR Champions for Miguel Angel Jimenez after claiming the Sanford International. John Daly, playing in his first event since revealing being diagnosed with bladder cancer, finished T12.

26  Birdies or better for Chesson Hadley, including one to close out the week on No. 18, making him the first RSM Birdies Fore Love winner of the fall.