10 Notes to Know: April 19, 2021

April 19, 2021
Justin Ray
  1. After setting the 36-hole and 54-hole tournament scoring records, Stewart Cink cruised to a four-stroke victory at the RBC Heritage, his second win of the 2020-2021 PGA Tour season. At age 47, Cink joins Bryson DeChambeau as the only players with multiple wins this season on the PGA Tour. Cink is one of four players since 1960 to win more than once in a PGA Tour season at age 47 or older, joining Sam Snead (1960), Julius Boros (1967 and 1968) and Kenny Perry (2008 and 2009).
  1. This is the first time Cink has had multiple victories in a PGA Tour season since 2004. That 17-year gap between seasons with more than one victory is the largest of any player over the last three decades. The previous longest gaps belonged to Steve Stricker (13 years, 1996-2009) and Hal Sutton (12 years, 1986-1998). Cink is the third player to win three or more times at Harbour Town, joining Davis Love III (five wins) and Hale Irwin (three wins).
  1. Cink has now won PGA Tour events more than 23 years apart: his first title came at the 1997 Greater Hartford Open (now known as the Travelers Championship). That span of 23 years, 9 months and 22 days is the seventh-longest of any player since World War II, trailing only Raymond Floyd, Sam Snead, Love III, Mickelson, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. The win pushed Cink into the top-50 of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in more than 10 years.
  1. Cink led the field in strokes gained tee-to-green, the first time he’s done that over 72 holes on the PGA Tour since the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive. He tied for the field lead in greens in regulation (77.8%) and ranked second in strokes gained approach (+2.14 per round). The veteran’s big lead and steady ball striking meant a barrage of long made putts wasn’t necessary to get the win: he ranked last in the field on Sunday in distance of putts made (32’4”).
  1. On Saturday, Lydia Ko capped off a blistering stretch of golf with a seven-shot victory at the Lotte Championship, her first LPGA title in more than 1,000 days. Ko finished 28-under-par, the third-lowest 72-hole score in LPGA history. Her seven-shot margin was the largest in tournament history and the second-largest of her illustrious professional career.
  1. The win for Ko comes after a blazing-hot finish to the ANA Inspiration – her 62 that Sunday was the lowest final round score in LPGA major championship history. Over her last five rounds, Ko is a combined 38-under-par, has hit 87% of her greens in regulation, and made birdie-or-better on 42% of her holes played. Ko has made just one bogey in her last 100 holes in competition.
  1. Ko, who will celebrate her 24th birthday this week, now has 16 career LPGA victories. Despite her recent dry spell of wins, Ko still could become the second-youngest player in the Tour’s history to reach 20 titles. Nancy Lopez will keep the record for youngest, doing so when she was 23 – but to be number two on that list, Ko will need four more wins by July 2022. Karrie Webb is the second-youngest to win 20 times, doing so at 25 years, 3 months and 5 days old.
  1. John Catlin defeated Maximillian Kieffer on the fifth playoff hole to win the European Tour’s Austrian Golf Open. It’s the third European Tour victory for the American Catlin, who won twice in September of last year. Catlin is one of two American players in European Tour history to have three or more wins – but no major championships. Bob Byman won four times on the European Tour from 1977 to 1982.
  1. Steve Stricker shot a bogey-free 67 to win the PGA Tour Champions’ Chubb Classic by one stroke over Robert Karlsson and Alex Cejka. Through 29 career starts on the 50-and-over circuit, Stricker has won 6 times and finished in the top-three in more than 55% of his starts. For the week, Stricker hit 93% of his fairways (6th-best in the field) and 87% of his greens in regulation (most in the field).
  1. This week marks the return of multiple events that were canceled in 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The LPGA returns to the U.S. mainland for the Los Angeles Open, last won in 2019 by Minjee Lee. The PGA Tour moves to Louisiana for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, last won two years ago by Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm. Meanwhile, the European Tour will stage the inaugural Gran Canaria Open, hosted by Rafa Cabrera Bello.