Fred Funk opens up three-shot lead at Dicks

By Associated PressJune 27, 2009, 4:00 pm
Champions TourENDICOTT, N.Y. ' Maybe its the brace.
 
Fred Funk, who was limping badly just a few days ago after playing the grueling U.S. Open on his bum right knee, shot a 65 on Saturday to gain a three-shot lead after two rounds at the Dicks Sporting Goods Open.
 
Funk, who was fitted with a new knee brace on Wednesday, had eight birdies to go with one bogey to reach 15-under 129 and open a lead over Ronnie Black, defending champion Eduardo Romero and Lonnie Nielsen (66). Black and Romero each shot 9-under 63s, the best rounds of the day.
 
Gary Hallberg (66) was alone in fifth at 11 under and Jay Haas (68) was another shot back.
 
Funk began the day with a two-shot lead and continued his stellar play. That he finished the round carrying an umbrella in a steady rain only made his smile a bit wider. He had withstood a stiff challenge from his closest pursuers.
 
My knee was horrible on Tuesday and now it feels great, said Funk, who matched his 36-hole low on the Champions Tour. Its fun to be able to play without pain. My game has picked up a few notches.
 
Has it ever. Funk wasnt deterred by what was going on in front of him as Romero and Black challenged the En-Joie Golf Club record.
 
Romero began the round five shots behind Funk and made a move. He birdied the first hole, used his power off the tee to eagle the par-5 third hole and reach 6 under, and followed that with six more birdies over the next eight holes to get to 12 under.
 
Funk, who shot 64 Friday during the rain-delayed first round, nearly matched Romeros 30 on the front side, carding six birdies and three pars. Funk gained a two-shot lead when he rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 9, raising his right arm as the ball rolled slowly toward the hole and then smiling and waving to the gallery when it dropped.
 
I got off to the dream start today, said Funk, whose lone blemish was a bogey at No. 13. I had an unforced error or really could have run and hid at that point. I didnt, but it felt good to make birdie at 18.
 
While Funk was reaching 15 under with another birdie at No. 10, Romero faltered.
 
Romero was threatening the Champions Tour course record of 62 held by R.W. Eaks after shooting 7 under on the front nine. He made bogey at No. 13 after he was unable to get up and down from a sand trap and lost another shot on the next hole when his par putt stopped at the lip.
 
I lost concentration, just for a couple of seconds, Romero said. Im playing with good concentration and then, boom! Bogey, bogey.
 
Romero rallied with birdies on 16 and 17.
 
I think I played better yesterday, but I missed a lot of junk for birdie, Romero said. He (Funk) is a tough man, but you never know. Hes a good putter. Im a good driver. I shoot 65 tomorrow and I win the tournament.
 
Black matched his career low ' he also shot 63 in winning the 1984 Anheuser Busch Classic ' as his short game was nearly flawless. He chipped in from 15 feet for birdie at the par-5 fifth hole after landing in a greenside bunker, made a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 8, hit inside 2 feet for another birdie at No. 9, then sank a 25-foot eagle putt at the par-5 12th hole to get to 10 under.
 
Black closed by hitting a pitching wedge to 18 feet and making birdie on his final hole. He credited his surge to a change in his putting grip.
 
I felt like I had to do something, said Black, who finished tied for 70th and 50th in his previous two outings on the Champions Tour. I got a long putter, I got a belly putter, and I tried the crosshanded grip for the first time in my career and it just seemed I had a good touch with it and I went with it.
 
But this is a straight hitters paradise here, Black said. Itll be a lot of fun tomorrow.
 
Which would seem to favor Funk. Long one of the games most accurate drivers, hes hit 25 of 28 fairways, 30 of 36 greens.
 
Ive got to keep the pedal to the metal, Funk said. I have to keep making birdies or somebodys going to catch me.
 
DIVOTS: Joey Sindelar, seeking his first Champions Tour victory, was tied for 16th at 7 under. Sindelar twice won the B.C. Open at En-Joie when it was on the PGA Tour and Funk won it 1999. Among Funks closest pursuers are three former B.C. Open winners ' Haas in 1981, Mike Hulbert (9 under) in 1989, and Jeff Sluman (9 under) in 2001. Richie Karl (76-76'152) was disqualified for not signing his scorecard.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Dicks Sporting Goods Open
  • Getty Images

    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

    Getty Images

    Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

    The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


    President at the Presidents Cup


    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


    Cart on the green


    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


    Trump golf properties

    Vandalism

    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

    Finances


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers


    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm