Notes Funk falters coming down the stretch

By Associated PressAugust 3, 2008, 4:00 pm
USGACOLORADO SPRINGS, Co. ' Fred Funks strategy for Sunday was to make a charge on the front nine and play even on the back nine.
He did neither, and it cost him the U.S. Senior Open championship.
Funk entered the final round at The Broadmoors East Course two shots behind leader and eventual champion Eduardo Romero. Funk bogeyed No. 1, recovered to shoot par on the front nine and stay two behind heading to the 10th tee.
Things fell apart after that. He bogeyed No. 11, triple-bogeyed No. 13 and bogeyed 14 to go from 7-under to 2-under. He birdied 17 before finishing with a bogey.
He salvaged second place thanks to other players struggling, including John Cook, who started the day three shots behind but shot a 7-over 77 Sunday.
Funk said the triple bogey at the 13th put him out of contention. He put his drive into the left rough, and he hit his second shot less than 20 yards and stayed in the rough.
If I had just made a bogey, Im OK, he said. I was trying to force an issue a little bit too much with that lie. I hit a horrible shot and then tried something to get it up there far enough, and turned that into a triple, and the tournaments over.
Things didnt get much better after the 13th.
I thought maybe if I made that putt on 14 for par and maybe I can get a little momentum back, but I missed that, and the doors closed at that point, he said.
Funk was in contention all weekend, and even held the lead after the second round. He was disappointed he couldnt stay on top, but he was happy overall with the tournament.
Everything was a positive, except for my back nine yesterday and today, he said. Thats just the way it goes.
NEAR MISSES: For the second straight weekend, Cook knew he let a major championship get away.
Last week, he lost a three-shot lead with eight holes to go and then lost to Bruce Vaughan in a playoff at the British Open at Troon, Scotland. On Sunday, he needed only to shoot par to stay near the top of the leaderboard, but he started out with a bogey at No. 1 and never recovered.
Those two missed chances bothered the 50-year-old Cook.
Could have been a great run for sure, he said. Im disappointed right now, and I havent closed the deal yet this year, and that upsets me more than anything. Ive been in position now five or six times to win and havent come away with it, and theres some things I need to do. Ill figure it out.
WORTH THE PAIN: R.W. Eaks may have done more damage to his aching knees by playing the final round, but he doesnt regret teeing it up Sunday in his hometown.
I probably really shouldnt have played, he said after shooting a 72 to finish 5 over and tied for 18th. I think I damaged my knees a little more.
Eaks said his knees began to bother him during the last nine holes of the third round. His knees hurt so badly Saturday night he considered pulling out of Sundays final round, but with a lot of relatives in attendance, and with a chance to move up the leaderboard, the Colorado Springs native decided to play.
I was considering last night not playing, but I decided because I had so much family here, wed give it a try, said Eaks, who needs replacement surgery on both knees. Hopefully I can recover in a couple of weeks. Plus its hometown; you gotta play.
Eaks had to withdraw from two events this year because he couldnt get out of his cart, which is allowed in Champions Tour events but not in the USGA-run Senior Open. He said he is seeing a doctor Monday morning about his knees, and he wants to keep playing this year.
Well, I need to probably make another $130,000 to get in the top 30 so Im exempt for next year, he said. Im probably going to do that. Id like to play every one of them, and Ill definitely play all the ones we can ride.
PASSING THE TORCH: 2007 Senior Open winner Brad Bryant shot a final round 71 to finish tied for 14th Sunday. The defending champion said he enjoyed his yearlong reign, and he complimented The Broadmoors East Course.
Its a tremendous place to have a Senior Open, Bryant said. This was a venue for our age group that was right on, just spot-on perfect. They could probably use a couple of new tees to stretch out a couple of holes that are a little too short.
I think that the course is a touch short for the (PGA TOUR), but for the Senior Tour, it was fantastic.
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

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    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

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    Man of the people

    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.