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Stewart Cink watches his drive down the second fairway Sunday during the final round of the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Cink won the event for the third time. Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Stewart Cink shot a steady, stress-free 70 to cap off a dominant, record-breaking week and win his third RBC Heritage title on Sunday.

Cink, 47, finished at 19-under 265 at Harbour Town, four better than Emiliano Grillo and Harold Varner III. Grillo shot a 68 while Varner, who had the highest finish of his career, fired a 66.

Cink hugged his son and caddie, Reagan, after his closing par on the 18th green. Cink, wife Lisa and their other son, Connor, all had their arms around each other to celebrate.

“I don’t even know if I have the words,” Stewart Cink said.

He won for the second time this season – only he and Bryson DeChambeau have done that – and continued his resurgence on the PGA Tour at a time when many pros his age are looking ahead to the PGA Tour Champions.

Not Cink, who broke a 12-year winless streak at the Safeway Open in September and added five more top-20 finishes, including a tie for 12th last week at the Masters.

He won $1.278 million, nearly as much as the $1.404 million for his two previous victories at Harbour Town combined.

Cink is also just the fourth player to win twice in the same PGA Tour season after turning 47. Sam Snead, Julius Boros and Kenny Perry, who accomplished it twice, are the others.

Cink put on show for the ages – shattering the lowest 36-hole score at Harbour Town of 13-under 129 shared by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson. Cink also broke the 54-hole scoring mark of 16-under 197 that Justin Leonard had in his 2002 win.

Cink carried a five-shot lead into the final round and dared all chasers to come get him. Nobody made a run at Cink, who led by at least three shots throughout.

PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa, paired with Cink, opened with a birdie. But bogeys on the second and fourth holes took Morikawa out of the mix.

Maverick McNealy has five birdies on the front nine to climb to 14-under, four back of Cink, in the middle of the round. Consecutive bogeys on the 11th and 12th ended McNealy’s surge.

Grillo and Varner came the closest at 15-under and were just three back until Cink’s final birdie at the par-3 17th, which made it all but certain he would add another plaid winner’s jacket to the ones he won here in 2000 and 2004.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Steve Stricker closed with a 5-under 67 to earn a one-shot victory in the Chubb Classic in Naples, Florida, where the 54-year-old from Wisconsin makes his winter home.

The U.S. Ryder Cup captain won for the sixth time on the PGA Tour Champions, his first title since the U.S. Senior Open in the summer of 2019.

“I felt like someone could shoot a low number, and I was hoping it would be me,” Stricker said. “There’s a lot of short irons on this course if you put it in play.”

Robert Karlsson of Sweden, who shared the 36-hole lead with Fred Couples, and Monday qualifier Alex Cejka of Germany each made birdie on the final hole to tie for second.

EUROPEAN TOUR: John Catlin beat Maximilian Kieffer on the fifth playoff hole in Atzenbrugg, Austria, to win the Austrian Open for his third European Tour title.

The American easily wrapped up the victory after three shots from Kieffer landed in the water. The German earlier had a promising chance for his first tour victory, but narrowly missed a birdie putt at the first playoff hole.

“It’s kind of relief. Kind of thought that playoff was never going to end and that we kept going back and forth,” Catlin, who finished at 14-under 274, told Austrian TV.

“It’s obviously nice to win, but you never want to see your opponent finish like that. That’s difficult.”

It was Catlin’s third win in 45 European Tour appearances. He has 10 wins worldwide, including four on the Asian Tour.

LPGA: Lydia Ko is golfing like she is a kid again. In other words, she’s tough to beat.

No one came close at this week’s Lotte Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii. Ko torched Kapolei Golf Club and tournament records in the process. A final-round 65 Saturday left her at 28-under 260 and seven shots ahead of everybody.

It brought back vivid memories of the teenager from New Zealand who became the youngest golfer – female or male – to rise to No. 1 the world in 2015. She is the LPGA’s youngest-ever winner, major winner, Rookie and Player of the Year.

Ko, who turns 24 next Saturday, won 14 times in her first 81 starts, including twice as an amateur in 2012 and ’13. But she had only won once since – three years ago – until Saturday.

 


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