Major champion achieves incredibly rare milestone at Valspar

Stewart Cink at the 2024 Valspar Championship.

Stewart Cink made history this week.

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Stewart Cink‘s 36-hole co-lead this week at the Valspar Championship isn’t just unlikely, it’s historic.

With Cink’s opening rounds of 69-67, he not only grabbed the seventh career 36-hole lead or co-lead, but he also made the cut for the 500th time in his PGA Tour career.

That’s an accomplishment only seven other men in Tour history have earned. Jay Haas has the record with 592 cuts made, but legends like Jack Nicklaus (495) and Gary Player (384) haven’t accomplished the feat. Tiger Woods, who once made a PGA Tour record 142 cuts in a row, only has 338 made cuts in his career.

Despite being just two-and-a-half years younger than Cink, Woods hasn’t even played close to 500 events in his career. This week is Cink’s 677th career start.

But Cink hasn’t just made the cut this week at Innisbrook. The 50-year-old also has the chance to become the ninth senior to win on the PGA Tour and could become the seventh-oldest winner in Tour history. The last player over 50 to win on the PGA Tour was Phil Mickelson at the 2021 PGA Championship.

Mackenzie Hughes of Canada on the 18th green during the second round of the Valspar Championship at Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club on March 22, 2024 in Palm Harbor, Florida.
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The 2009 Open Championship winner didn’t even anticipate passing the 500-cut mark this week at Innisbrook.

“I didn’t know about that until somebody told me a little while ago, but I guess milestone would be, you know, appropriate language to use,” Cink said after his round Friday. “I’ve been playing out here a long time and I’ve had some ups and downs, but a lot of ups. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself. To make 500 cuts, I think that’s pretty respectable, I guess. I know a lot of players are celebratory when they reach 500 events. So to be able to put that number on your cuts made, I’m proud of that.”

Cink last won on the PGA Tour 2021 when he got his second victory of that season at the RBC Heritage. That was also the last time he held the 36-hole lead in a tournament.

He started the third round at Innisbrook as part of the five-way tie for the lead at six under. After seven holes in the third round, he was two under for the day and only shared the lead with Chandler Phillips at eight under.

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at