Players Look to Snap Winless Funks


Fred Funks record is as consistent as his swing. Over the past four years, he has collected 19 top-10s on the PGA Tour, including four runner-up finishes, to go along with nearly $5 million in earnings.
The only thing he doesnt have during that span is a victory.
Winless since the 1998 Deposit Guaranty Classic, Funk is on track to end that streak at this weeks John Deere Classic.
The 46-year-old Maryland Terrapin fired his second straight 64 to earn a share of the second-round lead in Silvis, Ill. He stands at 14-under-par 128, tied with J.P. Hayes, who shot a career and touranment best round of 10-under 61.
Hayes' round included 11 birdies and one bogey. He birdied five of his first seven holes, before dropping a shot at the par-4 eighth. Unfazed, he birdied Nos. 10-12 and Nos. 15 and 16. After failing to tie Funk on the par-5 17th, Hayes concluded his record round with a 3 on the par-4 18th.
Hayes' Record Scorecard
'It was a lot of fun,' Hayes said. 'I felt like I was going to play well, but you never expect something like that. The putter was the difference.'
Robert Gamez, who hasn't won since his rookie season in 1990, is one back after a 64.
Funk has nearly been flawless over the first two rounds at the TPC at Deere Run. He has recorded 14 birdies and no bogeys, and missed but one fairway and one green through 36 holes.
The five-time tour winner is fresh off a second-place finish in last weeks B.C. Open. It was his first event in the U.S. in a month and a half. Funk played three consecutive weeks in Europe, trying to work his way into the Open Championship. He failed to qualify for the seasons third major, but found some solace at En-Joie.
'I feel really good mainly coming off such a good week last week,' said Funk. 'I really am hungry for a win and I want it really bad. I don't want it too bad that I'm going to get in my own way.'
Hayes, like his fellow co-leader, is winless on the tour since garnering his maiden title in the 1998 Buick Classic. But since his victory, the 36-year-old has been a mainstay inside the top 100 on the money list, and hasn't had to venture to Q-School since 1997 (his fourth overall appearance).
While Hayes has been consistent over the past four years, the same cannot be said for Gamez.
The 34-year-old hasnt finished inside the top 140 on the money list since the 1997 campaign. That was also the year of his last top-10 finish in a tour event ' until this season.
Gamez tied for seventh in Greensboro, tied for ninth at the FedEx, and then closed in 66 to tie for third at the B.C. Open. Due to his Past Champion status, hes played in 11 events this year, missing five cuts, but making the most of his weekend opportunities.
Hes currently 111th on the money list.
Gamez furthered his effort to regain full-exempt status on tour by carding eight birdies and one bogey Friday.
'This is by far the most consistent I've played since I've been out here,' Gamez said.
Pat Bates, who turned 33 Friday, celebrated his birthday by shooting a career best 9-under 62 to finish at 10-under-par 132.
Full-field scores from the John Deere Classic