Funk wants to put a frustrating week behind him


Champions Tour

CARY, N.C. – Fred Funk wants to put a frustrating week of golf behind him with a strong showing at the SAS Championship.

“I would love to play well here and carry some momentum into Baltimore next week,” Funk said Thursday. “I really want the Schwab Cup.”

Funk leads Loren Roberts by 57 points with Bernhard Langer third, 375 points back in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.

The SAS Championship begins Friday at Prestonwood Country Club. After that, the Champions Tour heads to Maryland for the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, where points for the Cup are doubled.

With both Roberts and Langer out of last week’s Greater Hickory Classic field, Funk missed an opportunity to pad his points lead by finishing out of the top 10.

“It was a bizarre week with that two-shot penalty,” the 53-year-old Funk said. “It ate at me all week, but those things happen.”

Funk was issued a two-stroke penalty after accidentally using another player’s club last week at Rock Barn when his caddie handed him a club from Mike Goodes’ bag. Funk called it an understandable mistake because the two bags look alike, and the players use the same brand of clubs.

“I just have to put that behind me,” said Funk, who finished tied for 12th and one stroke out of the top 10.

Funk likely will need a strong performance this week considering the Hall of Fame field at this year’s SAS Championship, with 27 of the top 30 money-winners from last year and 17 PGA major champions.

In addition facing players such as Tom Kite, Nick Price, Lee Trevino and Curtis Strange, Roberts also is playing this weekend after a two-week hiatus.

The 54-year-old has finished in the top five in his last five tournaments, dating back to his playoff win at the Senior British Open.

He last played in early September at the Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, where he tied for fifth.

“I wanted to be rested for” the SAS, Roberts said. “It’s a good purse, with a quality field.

“I wanted two weeks off for the stretch run. The next two weeks, it’s important to play well.”

Defending champion Eduardo Romero said he’s ready to bounce back from some poor showings this year after a stellar 2008 season in which he won three times.

“When I see the field, there are more than 15 majors champions,” the 55-year-old Romero said. “It’s fantastic. I love it when there’s a strong field. Last year was the best year of my career, but this year, it’s different. I’m ready though. I came here to win.”