Fred Funk and Tom Watson set for another major

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2009, 4:00 pm
Champions TourSUNRIVER, Ore. ' Theres no comfort for Fred Funk as the defending champion at the Jeld-Wen Tradition.
 
Lurking in the field is Tom Watson, who came oh-so-close to winning the British Open earlier this summer, and perennial fan favorite Greg Norman, who is making his first appearance in the event.
 
And then theres money leader Bernhard Langer of Germany, who has won four events this season on the Champions Tour.
 
The Tradition, the fourth of five majors on the tour for senior players, gets under way Thursday at Crosswater Golf Club on the high desert in central Oregon.
 
Funk, 53, is coming off a victory at the U.S. Senior Open, where he became the first player in a USGA championship to finish at 20-under par. A week earlier, he lost in a three-way playoff at the Senior British Open.
 
He has finished in the top 10 in the previous three Champions Tour majors this season.
 
Leading the Charles Schwab Cup points standings, Funk would have a nice cushion should he defend at Crosswater.
 
I am really looking forward to coming out and hopefully, I can defend it the proper way and win it again. I really have some high goals and these majors are very important in our points race, he said.
 
Funk shot a final-round 3-under 69 in the Tradition last year for a three-shot victory over Mike Goodes and his first win in a major on the tour.
 
This year theres more attention on the tournament, thanks to appearances by Watson and Norman.
 
Watson, who won the Tradition in 2003, fell to Stewart Cink in a playoff at Turnberry a month ago. Although he had hoped for the fairy tale ending of becoming the oldest player to win a major on the PGA Tour, Watson has found that being one of the most memorable runners-up in the games history has an upside, too.
 
I have been overwhelmed, to a degree, but very humbled by the reaction of people to it, he said. I really have. Its been a very special time for me.
 
Norman, 54, plays a very limited schedule, devoting most of his time to his businesses. He is making just his ninth appearance on the tour this season.
 
But the Australian Hall of Famer admitted Wednesday that hes got that competitive itch.
 
I havent won yet (this season) and Id really like to chalk one up on the board again, he said.
 
Norman, Tom Lehman, Bob Tway, Larry Mize and Hal Sutton are making their first appearances in the event.
 
The Tradition started at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1989 before it moved to Superstition Mountain for a year in 2002.
 
With the help of Oregon native Peter Jacobsen, the event moved again in 2003 to the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club west of Portland. In 2007, it came to Crosswater. Last year steamy temperatures gave way to a delay because of lightning during the final round.
 
The Tradition is sponsored by Jeld-Wen, an Oregon-based window and door manufacturer.
 
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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

    1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.


    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

    Getty Images

    Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

    Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

    “We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

    Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

    “It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

    It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


    Getty Images

    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.