Funk Finds Kontaks Quest Ridiculous

RSS

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- You can list Fred Funk as one who scoffs at Brian Kontaks recent admission that he plans to try and qualify for the U.S. Womens Open.
 
I think that is kind of ridiculous, Funk said. That is crazy.
 
Kontak told The Golf Channel on Wednesday that he was doing what I need to do in trying to cross the gender barrier.
 
The 31-year-old is a five-time winner on the Canadian Tour, and has conditional status on this years Nationwide Tour.
 
Kontaks decision came in the wake of Annika Sorenstams acceptance of an invitation to compete in the Bank of America Colonial, May 22-25.
 
Suzy Whaley also qualified to play in the Greater Hartford Open in July.
 
There are no rules outlawing females from competing in PGA Tour events, but LPGA bylaws state one has to be born a female in order to play on their tour. The same hold true for the United States Golf Association, who governs the Womens Open.
 
Last year's application (for the Women's Open) states that the player must be born female and the USGA has no plans to change that on this year's application. Right now, Brian is not eligible and if he sent in an application it would automatically be rejected on that basis, USGA media relations director Craig Smith told TGC Wednesday.
 
Kontak responded by saying he had to get my ducks in a row and that he is not doing this for publicity.
 
Funk disagrees.
 
I know hes trying to make a statement, he said. It is just a big attention thing. I dont know what good it really does.
 
Pat Bates played with Kontak during his developmental tour years. He laughed and shook his head when told of Kontaks quest.
 
I think its funny. We seem to have a double standard that women are allowed to play the PGA Tour, but we cant play the LPGA Tour, he said.
 
When asked if he would consider playing in a womens event, Bates joked: If I put a skirt on, I could probably pass for (a female), he said in reference to his noted long locks. But, no, I wouldnt.
 
Bates, in his third season on the PGA Tour, isnt in Colonials field, but said if he does get an invitation, he hopes to finish ahead of at least one person.
 
I dont know if its right or wrong (that Sorenstam is playing) -- I just hope she doesnt beat me, said the 33-year-old Bates.
 
Funk will be in Ft. Worth, Texas, competing against Sorenstam. When asked if he hoped to finish ahead of her, he said it didnt really matter, but then stopped and said: Let me be honest. I want a rematch if she beats me.
 
He added that he would support Sorenstam at the event and wished her well, but didnt fully understand why she was competing.
 
I read she would like to test herself. What good does that do unless she is going to play full time on the mens tour? Funk said.
 
I hope when she comes in, that she plays well. I am going to be a big Annika fan that week because I dont want it to hurt the LPGA.
 
Related Links
  • Kontak Serious About Playing U.S. Women's Open
  • Full-field scores from the Nissan Open
  • Full coverage of the Nissan Open