Stewart Cink has a Claret Jug and five other PGA Tour victories, but Thursday and the first round of the RSM Classic has to rank among his best days in golf.
Cink, whose wife Lisa has been battling Stage 4 breast cancer since it was diagnosed in May, shot a career-low eight-under par 62 on the Seaside Course at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort, one off the lead, with Lisa in the gallery and coming off a favorable report received Monday.
Cink called it “a huge blessing.
“She just got switched over from, I guess you would call it the phase one, first line of treatment, first line of defense, into the maintenance phase Monday,” Cink said. “That just means that she’s had like the best response possible. She had nine full rounds of chemo. She had very limited side effects, which I can only say that she’s just being looked after by someone bigger than us. So she’s responded well.
“She’s still got Stage 4 cancer. It’s like when the horses get out of their yard, it’s hard to get them back in, can’t get them back in. So she’s going to be on maintenance hopefully for a long time. That’s kind of the plan.
“I’m just really encouraged by the way she’s been able to fight and handle it. She’s definitely had a lot of ups and downs and she feels pretty well, and she got a good report Monday, real good. She’s really like an inspiration for me.”
Cink took a hiatus from golf after Lisa’s diagnosis in May and now intends to play only when she is able to accompany him to tournaments.
“If I’m out [on tour], she’s out,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere without her. I don’t want to be away if something were to go south. If you see me out here playing, then you can assume that that means that she’s doing fairly well, at least well enough to travel, because I’m not going anywhere without her. I’m not going to say that in an ultimatum kind of way. There may be a tournament someday down the road that I play without her, but I’m not planning on going anywhere without her right now.”