PNC Championship 2021: Team Cink Charges into Lead with Opening-Round 59

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 18, 2021

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 16:  Reagan Cink and Stewart Cink plays during the Pro-Am ahead of the PNC Championship at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club Grande Lakes on December 16, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Stewart and Reagan Cink set the pace in the first round of the PNC Championship at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

The Cinks finished at 13 under Saturday, one shot better than the teams of John Daly and John Daly II and Justin and Mike Thomas.

At one point, Stewart and Reagan reeled off seven straight birdies to catapult up the leaderboard.

PGA TOUR Champions @ChampionsTour

That’s seven birdies in a row for Team Cink!<br><br>They lead -12 (15) <a href="https://twitter.com/PNCchampionship?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PNCchampionship</a>. <a href="https://t.co/oPHt43oZPv">pic.twitter.com/oPHt43oZPv</a>

Cink already has one victory under his belt from when he partnered with his other son, Connor, in a winning effort in 2013. The two were runners-up in 2016 and 2018 as well.

Now, Reagan is 18 holes away from celebrating the same triumph with his father. Working alongside his dad as a caddie is coming in handy this weekend.

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Hook, line, and cink 'er.<br><br>The father-son duo of Reagan and <a href="https://twitter.com/stewartcink?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StewartCink</a> finish the first round of the <a href="https://twitter.com/PNCchampionship?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PNCChampionship</a> at -13. WATCH ON NBC AND PEACOCK. <a href="https://t.co/rcV46JqMla">pic.twitter.com/rcV46JqMla</a>

In general, all eyes have been on Tiger Woods in his first event back since his February car crash.

The 15-time major champion got his feet wet Friday during the PNC Championship's pro-am portion.

"It was an awesome day," he told reporters. "It was just awesome to be back out here playing, to be out here with my son. We had an absolute blast."

Tiger and his son, Charlie, face an uphill climb to lift the trophy. They're three shots back after combining to post a 10-under 62. Three straight birdies on the back nine put them within striking distance of Team Cink.


For three birdies in a row ...<br><br>Charlie drains it.<br><br>Team Woods is 9-under thru 15. <a href="https://t.co/bv8jubMHRy">pic.twitter.com/bv8jubMHRy</a>

Last year, viewers were taken aback when seeing Charlie perfectly mimic so many of Tiger's mannerisms. Charlie's reaction to a birdie putt was a familiar sight for those who have followed the sport for years.

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

This birdie was all Charlie! <a href="https://twitter.com/TigerWoods?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TigerWoods</a>' son's tee shot, putt, and walk in. Dad approves.<br><br>Watch on <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PeacockTV</a>. <a href="https://t.co/LeJBE2NSdp">pic.twitter.com/LeJBE2NSdp</a>

A 12, Charlie Woods wasn't the youngest golfer in the field. That distinction belonged to 11-year-old Karl Stenson, who teamed with dad Henrik.

Team Stenson is tied for fifth at 10 under. They started off well as Karl sank their eagle putt on No. 3.


Dad wanted a look at it! πŸ‘€<a href="https://twitter.com/henrikstenson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HenrikStenson</a>'s son Karl drains the eagle putt <a href="https://twitter.com/PNCchampionship?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PNCChampionship</a>.<br><br>He's the youngest competitor in the field. <a href="https://t.co/QhLmpPYAGF">pic.twitter.com/QhLmpPYAGF</a>

On the seventh hole, it was once again Karl's time to carry his team.

PGA TOUR Champions @ChampionsTour

11-year-old Karl is putting on a show in front of dad! <a href="https://t.co/tcMScuGe40">pic.twitter.com/tcMScuGe40</a>

With a birdie on No. 16, Justin and Mike Thomas had an opportunity to earn a share of the lead. A par on the 17th hole quickly ended that quest, but a birdie on the final hole put them in a tie for second.

Justin nearly aced the par-three fourth hole, and that may not have even been his most impressive tee shot on the day. The 2017 PGA Championship winner drove the green on No. 7 en route to a birdie.


Straight over the trees on a par 4? <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinThomas34?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JustinThomas34</a> said why not. 🀯 <a href="https://t.co/FpJsYzWulo">pic.twitter.com/FpJsYzWulo</a>

The stakes may not be all that high in Orlando, but the PNC Championship has undoubtedly offered a refreshing change of pace for golf fans.