I was going to discuss the reasons why the great game of baseball has fallen prey to a game that is anything but the sport most of us have loved.
It was obviously not going to be a positive topic.
Instead, there was a moment in sports that was so uplifting and heart-warming that it took center stage and moved the baseball issue to the background for now.
And the watching the news in these times, makes it even more imperative to bring this event to light.
I’m talking about the triumph by 47-year old Stewart Cink last weekend at the Heritage Open Golf tournament at Hilton Head, SC.
No, it obviously was not one of pro golf’s majors, and many of the stars of the game did not compete. But that’s not the point.
There are the facts surrounding his win and more down the line on who this man is.
First the facts.
He won by four strokes over Emiliano Grillo and Harold Varner III, after leading by five strokes entering the final round. Actually, no one made a run at Cink all weekend.
He shattered the lowest 36-hole score3 at Harbour Town with a -13 129 shared by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson.
It was his second title this season. Only Bryson DeChambeau can make that claim.
After going winless for 12 years, Cink won the Safeway Open in September.
He is only the fourth player in history, after reaching the age of 47, to win twice in the same season. The others are Sam Snead, Julius Boros and Kenny Perry.
Stewart Cink has also captured one major: The British Open (known in the golf world as simply, The Open). It came in 2009 at Turnberry in Scotland, in a dramatic playoff victory over 59-year old Tom Watson, who was clearly the fan’s favorite in that duel.
In the hotel at Turnberry, there is a suite, named the Cink suite, in commemoration of his achievement.
I call Stewart Cink a friend. We met at a dinner in Ft.Lauderdale, several years ago, and played a round of golf in a foursome at a south Florida course.
We have texted each other on occasion in the ensuing years, and he was a guest on a podcast I did three years ago.
Jamie and I attended the Open in Ireland in 2019, and Stewart and I reunited briefly between the 8th green and the 9th tee.
Stewart Cink is all that is good about sports.
His demeanor on the course and his temperament on and off the course are unexcelled.
In 2017, he was awarded the Payne Stewart Award for respecting the game’s traditions, his tireless charitable work, and his manner on the course.
Cink took a leave of absence in May, 2016 after his wife Lisa learned of her diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer.
If Lisa couldn’t join him at a tournament, he wasn’t going to play.
He then shaved his head in support of her, during her treatments.
Cink flat out said Lisa inspired him.
Fast forward to last Sunday.
Here was 47-year old Stewart Cink, already a two-time victor at the Heritage Open, easing his way through four huge rounds of golf, with his son Reagan on the bag as his caddie, smiling and talking their way to success, having set a game plan to conquer the course, but doing so in a relaxed manner, setting the stage for the finish.
And what a finish it was.
A par on the 18th, then a hug between father and son, and the gathering of the Cink family, with Lisa and the their other son Connor.
The four, arm-in-arm.
Not a dry eye from anyone viewing the scene.
And this from Stewart Cink, “I don’t even have words”.
CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz didn’t either.
The pictures told the story.
And what a wonderful story it was.