FORT WORTH, Texas – Some withdrawals are more telling than others.
Consider Stewart Cink’s seemingly nondescript exit from the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on Wednesday. What the innocuous “WD” doesn’t tell you is that Cink committed to playing in the pro-am almost a year ago, with Eric Salas, an amateur who won a contest on FaceBook sponsored by Crowne Plaza to play with the six-time PGA Tour winner.
It wasn’t until Cink checked his schedule that he realized his oldest son, Connor, graduates from high school this week. Davis Love III offered to take Cink’s spot in the pro-am but that didn’t seem like the right thing to do.
“I told him Davis would do it but he said, ‘No, I made a commitment I’m doing it,’” said Mac Barnhardt, Cink’s manager with Crown Sports Management.
Cink considered trying to arrange a tee time (late on Thursday, early on Friday) that would allow him to play the event and attend the graduation ceremony on Friday in Atlanta but decided against that.
Instead, he flew to Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday, played a practice round and worked with his sports psychologist and flew home after the pro-am to prepare for his son’s big day.
Officials were notified of Cink’s plans and this week’s first alternate, Kyle Reifers, was advised to be ready to play on Thursday.