This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.
The Safeway Open was hit with a double whammy: Not only did it fall between the TOUR Championship and U.S. Open on the revised PGA Tour calendar, but it concluded on the same day as the NFL season began.
Faced with watching one of the weakest fields in years or Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees, well, only the most diehard of golf fans opted for the golf.
And they were treated to quite a finish, and quite a feel-good story.
Stewart Cink, 47 years old, winless for more than a decade and with his son serving as his caddie, held off Harry Higgs by two strokes to capture the 2020-21 season-opening tournament at Silverado Country Club in Napa Valley.
Cink had not won since edging 59-year-old Tom Watson in a playoff at the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry. His son, Reagan, was not yet a teenager at the time. But the now-23-year-old was on the bag for his father's seventh career PGA Tour title.
It was a long dry spell for Cink, in part because in 2016 he took time off to care for his wife, Lisa, who is now in her fifth year of remission from breast cancer. She was in Napa to share in the special family moment. Cink himself had a scare with cancer, requiring a procedure on his nose in 2018.
Cink effectively gets a three-year exemption for winning – the rest of this season and then the official two-year exemption that will take him