Reagan Cink enjoying final weeks as father Stewart's caddie on tour

CROMWELL — In a little more than a month, Reagan Cink will be a married man. It’s a life-changing experience for a 24 year old.

In a little more than two months, Cink will likely begin a different career path.

For the better part of the last year, Reagan Cink has caddied on the PGA Tour for his dad, Stewart. They have shared two victories together — the RBC Heritage in April and the Safeway Open last September. Stewart Cink has had a resurgence in his late 40s.

“At the Heritage, we had a big lead on the weekend, all the way down the stretch. We got to waltz down the fairway on 18. That really was special. I would say for his career, Safeway was the more important one. He had really been struggling and essentially lost his (PGA Tour) card,” Reagan Cink said Thursday at the Travelers Championship. “He overhauled his whole bag and the first tournament after that, he won. That gave him so much confidence and gave him exemptions into all of these tournaments.”

Stewart had a couple of more strong performances with Reagan on the bag. He originally didn’t want his son to be his caddie. But the results spoke for themselves, so Stewart told his regular caddie, Kip Henley, that he was making a permanent switch.

So instead of putting that engineering degree from Georgia Tech to work (he had graduated in the spring of 2020), Reagan was now instead learning the do’s and don’ts of being a PGA Tour caddie.

Stewart Cink told Golf Magazine in November, “‘Hey, this has been really fun. You’re supposed to go back to work next week, but maybe this is the right time for you to push work back for a year. I like you caddying and I think you’re having a good time and you’re good at it, and it’s nice to spend time with our son.'”

This week’s tour stop is a place where Cink won the first of eight PGA Tour victories in 1997. He added a second win at TPC River Highlands in 2008. He is 2-under par after shooting a 68 on Thursday.

Reagan said they took the Travelers charter from the U.S. Open in San Diego to Connecticut. All of those stories you’ve heard about Travelers taking care of the golfer’s families and caddies as well as the players themselves? Reagan was in the caddie dining area following Thursday’s round.

“It’s some of the best food I’ve had since I started doing this,” Reagan said. “Everyone is super-nice. They had a Caddie Appreciation Day. I didn’t win one of the nine prizes. At some of the (tour stops) we were stuck in the cart barn eating grab-and-go wraps. This dining is essentially the same as the player dining. From what I’ve seen it’s equal treatment across the board, the best it’s been all year.”

It has morphed into a player-caddie relationship. Reagan provides all the necessary information needed for each shot. He also provides buzz words or positive thoughts to allow his dad to remain focused on the task at hand, shot by shot.

Reagan also gets paid in the neighborhood of what golfers pay their caddies. “I get paid from his financial people every tournament. That’s standard caddie procedure,” Reagan said. After the Masters, he got a 1 percent raise to “what he has paid all caddies in the past.”

It has added up to the 11th spot in the FedExCup standings and the 45th position in the world rankings. Cink has played in all three majors and will play in the Open at Royal St. George next month — according to Reagan, the next time Stewart will tee it up.

Reagan said he has loved the job. He has more in common with the younger golfers on tour — pros Stewart has been paired with like Collin Morikawa and Matt Wolff — than the veteran caddies. The highs are obvious, but there have been lows as well: consecutive missed cuts on the West Coast during the winter.

“I saw the underbelly of it a little. It was a frustrating three, four weeks on the road,” Cink said.

Reagan will marry his fiance, Olivia, on July 31. It happens to be the week the tour takes off for the golf competition at the Olympics in Tokyo. This decision was made before Reagan began to caddie.

The two have bought a townhouse 20 minutes or so north of Atlanta. If he was still single, maybe his decision would be different, but he will stop caddying for his dad following the FedExCup playoffs in early September.

“I roughly spend half the year away from home. Olivia is a nurse, she comes out (where they are competing) when she can,” Reagan said. “I miss her or miss home, more her than home. The only way this is sustainable is to make enough money where I can say, ‘Hey Olivia, quit your job and come with me.’”

Right now, Reagan Cink isn’t sure what job opportunities he will pursue. But he knows he has a few precious weeks left to spend standing next to his dad and building on the success the two have already established together.

joseph.morelli@hearstmediact.com; @nhrJoeMorelli