RBC Heritage 2021: Stewart Cink in Control After 3rd Round

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIApril 17, 2021

Stewart Cink eyes his drive off the ninth tee during the third round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament in Hilton Head Island, S.C., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

Stewart Cink is one day away from earning his second PGA Tour victory of the season.

The 47-year-old followed up his historic round Friday by shooting two under Saturday to hold a five-stroke lead over the rest of the field after moving day at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Collin Morikawa will pose a new threat for Cink heading into Sunday, as the 24-year-old shot four under Saturday to climb into sole possession of second place, ahead of Emiliano Grillo, who maintained his third-place standing.

Matt Wallace and Webb Simpson had major climbs to head into the final round as legitimate contenders.


RBC Heritage Saturday Leaderboard

1. Stewart Cink (-18)

2. Collin Morikawa (-13)

3. Emiliano Grillo (-12)

T4. Matt Wallace, Sungjae Im (-11)

T6. Webb Simpson, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Harold Varner III, Corey Conners (-10)

Full leaderboard via PGA Tour.



Cink, who set a 36-hole course record Friday and became the oldest two-round leader in tournament history, had an up-and-down start to his outing Saturday.

His round got off to a rough start when he bogeyed No. 3, but he quickly made up for it with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. He finished the rest of the front nine even to make the turn with a score of one under on the day and a five-stroke lead on an approaching Grillo.


This was *almost* an insane birdie from @StewartCink. 🪵 https://t.co/JhPbULIYx2

Grillo, who had entered the day in third place, had two birdies on the front nine.


Grillo inching closer to the top. 📺 | CBS https://t.co/B4126RQ7Ie

But his afternoon took a turn when he rounded the corner. He bookended a birdie on No. 13 with bogeys, while Cink was even through that stretch to maintain his lead. Grillo's slippage paved the way for another player to take over the second spot.

After an even front nine, Morikawa sunk three consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-15 to pull himself into second place and then added another on No. 17 to round out his strong back nine.


Ball striking at it's finest. @Collin_Morikawa with back-to-back birdies @RBC_Heritage. https://t.co/ebLklgk9BS


Morikawa makin' moves... He knocks in his third birdie in a row. 📺 | CBS https://t.co/bzKrYZqtXX

Elsewhere, Webb Simpson—who won the tournament in 2020—shot his best round of the weekend with an impressive score of seven under to catapult him into a tie for sixth place, 34 spots up from his position after Friday. Seven birdies made the difference for him while he stayed true to par throughout the rest of the round.


Big moves from the defending champ. 💪 A Saturday 7-under for @WebbSimpson1. https://t.co/UwLKbRrjzL

Matt Wallace had a similarly strong climb with a six-under round that pulled him up 15 spots to a tie for fourth place.

Cink will enter Sunday with some breathing room, but Saturday's results indicate that there are plenty of players who are capable of taking away his title with a standout round when it matters most.


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