Cinks focused on positives despite cancer diagnosis

By Rex HoggardJune 8, 2016, 9:05 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – He was supposed to be in New Orleans at the annual PGA Tour stop but Stewart Cink forgot to commit in time.

“First time in 20 years,” he sighed. “I was beating myself up, ‘Can’t believe I forgot to commit. Now I’m not going to play. Going to have to add a tournament.’ Turns out that Wednesday of New Orleans is when she got the phone call.”

It’s the call no one ever wants to receive. Cink’s wife, Lisa, had advanced breast cancer and would begin chemotherapy treatments 12 days later.

Commitment deadlines, points lists and golf all became immediate afterthoughts for Cink. Whatever his wife’s future would be, he planned on being there every step of the way.

The Tour community, as it does so many times, circled around the Cinks.

Players, caddies and officials wore ribbons to support Lisa Cink during last month’s Players, and on Wednesday, Cink ran into Phil Mickelson in the locker room at TPC Southwind for the first time since Lisa was diagnosed. Amy Mickelson, who survived breast cancer in 2009, was one of the first phone calls Lisa Cink received after being diagnosed, and Lefty wanted to offer Stewart a few words of encouragement.

“Amy has been an angel, just awesome for Lisa,” Cink said.

It’s something of a cliché how life threatening experiences put the mundane things into perspective, but for Cink, his wife’s cancer goes well beyond mitigating the stress that comes with being a professional athlete.

“It’s lowered all of the other expectations in my life except for surviving and for Lisa’s survival,” Cink said. “Golf and the kids and how they did on their finals. The fights that me and Lisa were in, we were constantly bickering at each other because we’re married and that’s what people do, all that completely dropped away.”

Life has slowly returned to something approaching normal and last Sunday Lisa asked if Stewart planned to play this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic.

He did not. In fact, he didn’t know when he planned to play again.

His first tournament back following Lisa’s diagnoses two weeks ago at the Dean & Deluca Invitational didn’t go well and he didn’t think he should leave home again with so many unanswered questions.


FedEx St. Jude Classic: Articles, photos and videos


“She said, ‘What if I wanted to go?’” Cink said. “It’s not getting back to normal, because I don’t know when I’m going to play again. It’s a glimpse of normal. It feels great because she came here, she wanted to get out of the house. She’s around and I can see her in the morning and at night, I can check on her. She feels good.”

It’s a dramatic contrast to his week at Colonial, his first event back when he arrived late on Wednesday, played two rounds and missed the cut.

“I realized quickly that I didn’t want to be there without her,” Cink said.

Being on the road again, together, is proving to be therapeutic for both Lisa and Stewart, much like his updates on CaringBridge.org, an online community for people battling cancer where he has explained the details of his wife’s cancer and the treatment process.

Lisa has now gone through two rounds of chemotherapy and as Cink picked at a hurried lunch on Wednesday at TPC Southwind prior to his pro-am tee time, there were no updates.

“All we know now is she’s having treatment and she’s been doing OK. There have been some down moments and some ups, but overall she’s feeling better than we thought she would during chemotherapy,” Cink said.

Nor does he have any update on when he may return to competitive golf full time. If Lisa’s health continues to allow her to travel he envisions a handful of starts before the end of the season, but it seems unlikely he’ll play next month’s Open Championship, an event he won in 2009.

Lisa is scheduled to return to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston that week for her next checkup, a pivotal juncture for any cancer patient.

“There’s no chance I’m going to be away for that,” he said. “No way I’d be anywhere but there with her. I don’t want to miss [the Open], but because I won it I have a lot of Opens I can play in the future.”

But then his schedule was not a concern on Wednesday as he prepared for the FedEx St. Jude Classic. The truth is, even the debilitating demands of chemotherapy weren’t a primary concern either, at least compared to what is, for many, the most difficult part of battling cancer.

“The hardest part is not knowing what the future is going to look like. Always thinking about what if I die? That’s what’s hard for her,” he said. “The chemo, you get through the grind of being tired and the sickness knowing that’s part of the fight, part of war. You know if you can endure this I can beat cancer. But that doesn’t take away from the stress of not knowing.”

For now, however, Cink is content focusing on the more encouraging elements of their cancer battle, as counterintuitive as that may seem.

“We don’t know what the future is going to hold, but we are already reaping the rewards and benefits of post-cancer life,” he said. “Our marriage has never been better.”

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.