The Cink player-caddie pairing: It’s a blast



AUGUSTA - Stewart Cink prefers dining with the caddies these days.

After all, that’s where his son Reagan can be found.

The father-son relationship has turned into a player-caddie relationship since they paired together when Cink won the Safeway Open in September.

“I’ve been eating in caddie dining ever since he started caddying, for the most part,” Cink said after an even-par third round left him 1 under at the Masters.

Reagan graduated from Georgia Tech, Cink’s alma mater, and was prepared to take a job with Delta Airlines. However, he moved back home when COVID-19 hit. They thought it would be fun to pair together after the PGA Tour resumed. Cink shot a final-round 7-under 65 to win his first tournament since the 2009 British Open. Cink also finished tied for fourth at the Bermuda Championship with son on the bag.

You stay with a good thing.

The job with Delta can wait a bit, and Reagan is to be married in July. For now, the two are having a blast. That includes trips around Augusta National in the 47-year-old Cink’s 19th Masters.

Think again if you think this is just a matter of nepotism.

“He’s doing a great job caddying, but this week he’s actually grown a tremendous amount because the golf course has required him to be a quick study and learn about all the nuances,” Cink said. “He’s doing a fabulous job picking up on things that I have picked up on in 19 years playing in the Masters, but I miss out on a couple things still because you’ve got a lot going on in your mind when this event is going on. So he’s been there for me a couple times to catch me and remind me about something, maybe on an edge of a green or a wind direction or something like that. …

“So that’s a cherry on the top. Having my son alongside for something like this is really cool.”

Cink welcomes the help at Augusta National. He has finished under par at the Masters only twice in his 18 previous tournaments. He finished 2 under in 2006 and finished 10th. He finished 4 under in 2008 and finished tied for third.

Cink returned to the Masters last year after a five-year absence but missed the cut. He shot 74-69 to make the cut at 1 under this year. After an even-par round Saturday, he remains at 1 under. He is well off the pace of 11 under by leader Hideki Matsuyama, but just try to remove the smile from his face as father and son grind their way around Augusta National.

Take the 18th hole Saturday. Cink’s drive found trouble left. He was forced to approach the green to the left and finished about 70 yards away. After father-son, player-caddie spent time considering all the options and conditions, Cink hit a wedge to five feet. One putt later, and he remained under par for the tournament.

“It’s a blast, and the grind is part of what makes it a blast,” Cink said. “It’s fun to come out here and put it together. Every shot has so much involved with planning and thinking and guarding and the kind of shot selection. It’s just a really cool experience that’s unlike any other in golf, and he loves golf. He’s a student of the game, too, like to the nth degree.

“For him to be able to come here and caddie in the Masters and see the course the way it’s been playing this week is so perfect for him and for me.”