Stewart Cink's Phoenix Open adventure: Durant Suns jersey in Round 1, streaker in Round 2
The day after the Phoenix Suns pulled off a blockbuster trade for Kevin Durant, Stewart Cink played to the crowd at the WM Phoenix Open.
Cink, who went to Georgia Tech, lives in Atlanta and is a self-described die-hard Hawks fan, managed to get his hands on a No. 35 Suns jersey with DURANT across the back and wore it while playing the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale during Thursday's first round.
As if that wasn't enough excitement for the PGA Tour veteran, Cink and his group had to deal with a streaker interrupting their round at No. 16 on Friday.
First, the saga of the Durant jersey. How did he manage to get his hands on one, just hours after the trade went down?
“I didn’t know anything about the trade until I woke up. And I’m a Hawks fan, die-hard. So I’ve been paid attention to trade deadline, every couple hours, first thing I do is check to see what the Hawks have done,” he said. “And I read that (Durant trade) and then it just kind of occurs to me that it’s a pretty good opportunity.
“Here we are, the first day the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and Kevin Durant just got traded to the Suns. I wonder if I could get my hands on Kevin Durant?
35 on No. 16.@StewartCink is already rocking a @KDTrey5 jersey 🏀☀️ pic.twitter.com/FQLxm4tuo8
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 9, 2023
“So I called around a couple places, the usual places that you would think of and all of them send off their embroidery couldn’t do it. And then I called another place and it happened to be, the lady just said, ‘I’m sorry, sir. But I’m not really a store, I’m the embroidery company that actually makes the team jerseys for the team. I don’t sell to the public. I only work with the team.’
“So I’m like, ‘Well, this is perfect.’ And I explained to her what I was wanting to do. … and she said ‘I’m sorry, but it’s a great idea. But we can’t do it because we have like regulations. There’s a lot of restrictions what we’re allowed to do with jerseys to keep our relationship with team we just can’t do anything. We can’t give or sell any jerseys.’
“And I thought was dead in the water. And 45 minutes later, she called me back and said that she spoke to the equipment manager and the manager for the Suns who set it up the flagpole. … she got it ready in about 30 minutes.
“And when I walked in, she had two jerseys ready for me to go. We threw one on, it was too big. Threw the next one on it was perfect. I signed the one that was too big, they kept it and then drove straight here.
“It was it was awesome. It was great. I was glad to do it. I love the NBA.”
Cink isn’t the first to don a jersey on the famous par-3 hole. Max Homa and Tony Finau both wore a Kobe Bryant jersey in 2020. Homa wore the No. 24 version, while Finau had the No. 8.
Jon Rahm and Billy Mayfair, both Arizona State grads, have worn the No. 42 ASU jersey of Pat Tillman.
'Opposite of the spotlight'
Cink and his group could only watch as a man streaked on 16, then fled police, jumped into a water hazard between the 17th and 18th holes, before he was taken into custody, Scottsdale police said.
Arizona resident Sean Patrick McConnell, 27, was charged at around 2 p.m. for trespassing, disorderly conduct, and failure to obey a lawful order from law enforcement, Scottsdale police spokesman Sgt. Aaron Bolin said.
McConnell, who had “Mac Savage” written on his chest and was wearing just a Speedo-style swimsuit, allegedly jumped from the general admission bleachers on 16 and ran to the green before dancing with the flagstick. He circled around the stands to amp up the crowd, evaded an event official and ran through the secondary tunnel to the 17th hole and jumped into the water hazard.
He ignored commands by officers to immediately exit the water. He eventually complied and swam to the 18th hole where he was placed under arrest.
Before the tournament began, the police warned attendees to not swim in the water hazards.
“The water is not potable and not drinkable and is not meant for humans to be in and so it is a dangerous thing for someone to do,” Bolin said.
He is booked into Scottsdale City Jail and will be held in custody to see a judge within the next two days.
Cink was getting ready to tee off and was talking to his caddie before he noticed the crowd was getting louder.
“I was like, 'I didn't think they were getting super excited for Stewart Cink,’” he said. “I feel like describing it is kind of condoning it or giving life in some ways.”
Cink added: “I saw an idiot, is what I saw, running around on the green. I think, for the 10 or 15 minutes he got in the spotlight is probably going to result in several hours of whatever the opposite of the spotlight is.”
—Jenna Ortiz, Arizona Republic
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Stewart Cink's Phoenix Open adventure: Durant jersey, streaker on 16