Notes Streaking Romero Funk staying active

By Associated PressJuly 31, 2008, 4:00 pm
USGACOLORADO SPRINGS, Co. ' Dave Delichs caddie has it easy navigating The Broadmoor East Course with his brother this week'especially compared to what is coming next.
Delich, a 51-year-old amateur playing in his first U.S. Senior Open, asked his older brother, Chuck, to carry his bag this week. Although Dave is from Colorado Springs and a six-time club champion at The Broadmoor, he trusts his brothers knowledge of the course.
Hes played The Broadmoor probably more times than I have the last five or 10 years, said Delich, who shot a 6-over 76 in Thursdays first round. He knows how to read the greens. If I get confused or get into a problem, he knows my game.
Delich isnt the only family member benefiting from Chucks generosity. Next week, he will donate a kidney to their sister, so the U.S. Senior Open is a welcome distraction for the caddie.
Hes got a tough time coming up, obviously, and I think if you asked him, he would say he wouldnt want to be anyplace else, Delich said. Hes got a tough week in front of him. This will be easy for him.
Delich, who qualified for the U.S. Senior Open by shooting a 74 at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo., on June 30, didnt play as well as he wanted on his hometown course Thursday. He was even on the front nine but started the back nine with bogeys on two of the first three holes and recorded a double bogey on No. 13.
I made three or four really poor swings on the back, he said. I think I under-clubbed 10 half a club and it cost me three shots from the middle of the fairway, and you just cant do that out here.
Delich didnt blame his brother.
He did a great job, Delich said. Its great to have him out there. He knows the game and he understands me, and I dont know what more you can get out of a caddie than that.
First-round leader Fred Funk had surgery on his right knee earlier this year, but the day after arriving in Colorado Springs last Thursday for the U.S. Senior Open, he took his family whitewater rafting.
He then played 18 holes every day for the next five days and took his family to Seven Falls, a tourist site near the city, on Tuesday, where he climbed approximately 400 steps.
That was probably a big example of stupidity, he said.
The 52-year-old Funk felt every one of them on Thursday, but he was able to shoot a 5-under 65. He said a long session of stretching in the morning helped loosen him up.
I spent about 3 1/2 hours just stretching before I even went to the range, just trying to get loose, he said. Its not even my knee. I cant even bend down to line up a putt because my thighs hurt so much.
That didnt stop him from starting 4 under through the first four holes.
Thats a dream start, he said. I got off to a ridiculously good start.
To keep his good play going, Funk, who will tee off Friday morning, plans on getting up early to start stretching.
Im going to get up about 5 oclock and start the whole routine again, he said. I just have to stretch out. My knee is pretty bad because of these hills.
A year ago, Eduardo Romero took the first-round lead at the U.S. Senior Open only to finish second to Brad Bryant. This year, the Argentinian is two strokes off the lead after shooting a 3-under 67 At The Broadmoor, and he feels like a different player than the one who was runner-up at Whistling Straits.
He also sees changes from when he finished second at the Senior British Open last week.
After my victory in New York a couple of weeks ago, Im a completely different player, Romero said of his win in the Dicks Sporting Goods Tournament. I almost won last week in the British Open.
The biggest difference, he said, is his putting.
My game is completely different, he said. My putter is working now. Last year my putter was not so good but now its working nice and Im feeling a lot of confidence.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

    Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

    Getty Images

    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.