Fred Funk cruises to US Senior Open title

By Associated PressAugust 2, 2009, 4:00 pm
CARMEL, Ind. ' Fred Funk took a back-nine victory lap in the U.S. Senior Open.
 
Funk won by six strokes and broke the tournament record with a 20-under total. He shot a 7-under 65 on Sunday at Crooked Stick.
 
Its something I really didnt fathom happening, but the biggest thing is just getting my name on that trophy, the 53-year-old Funk said.
 
Fred Funk at the U.S. Senior Open Championship
Fred Funk was a runaway winner at Crooked Stick. (Getty Images)
Coming off a playoff loss to Loren Roberts last week in the Senior British Open, Funk broke the event mark of 17 under set by Hale Irwin in 2000 at Saucon Valley.
 
Funk, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, won his second senior major, following the 2008 JELD-WEN Tradition. He has five Champions Tour victories.
 
Funk was 13 under the first three days to take the lead. He birdied Nos. 2, 5 and 9 on Sunday for a 33 on the front nine and was on his way to routing the field.
 
The crowd knew what was happening, but Funk didnt check the scoreboard until he got to the 17th green.
 
I had a feeling I had a little bit of a lead, he said.
 
Once he figured out where he stood, he simply had fun.
 
It was a big relief to kind of freewheel it on 18, he said.
 
Joey Sindelar (70) finished second at 14 under, Russ Cochran (68) was 12 under, and Roberts (64) and Greg Norman (73) followed at 11 under.
 
Funk felt he could have won the previous week if he hadnt tried so hard to steer the ball. A week later, he let it rip with record-breaking results.
 
Unless you win, you can always look back and find shots in four days that you wish you had back, he said. And I didnt want to look back this week and say would have, should have, could have.
 
The swing always has been a key part of Funks game.
 
He hits as straight as any man on the planet, said Roberts, who matched the course record with his 64. Thats what youve got to do at an Open Championship because the rough is so tough. When he does that and gets the putter going ' you see what he is doing ' going lights out.
 
Sindelar said he knew he wasnt going to catch Funk. He entered Sunday thinking he could compete if he played the longer holes better, but it didnt matter.
 
I played the par 5s better, and I didnt shank, and Fred still whooped me bad, Sindelar said. It was awesome.
 
Sindelar said he wished the final day had been more competitive, but he said Funk is tough once he gets ahead. In the five events Funk has led on the Champions Tour heading into the final round, he has won four.
 
Norman started the day one stroke behind Funk, but never threatened. His tee shot hit a tree and went into the water on No. 6 and he double bogeyed. On the next hole, he shot out of a bunker and landed on the green, but he two-putted and bogeyed.
 
Funk saw Normans confidence slipping on No. 6.
 
He just didnt have control of the golf ball like he did yesterday, Funk said. He didnt drive or putt as good, and got himself in a little trouble. A couple of his good shots didnt turn out good, and I think it started eating at him a little bit.
 
Tom Watson, the runner-up at the British Open, shot even on Sunday to finish at 2 over, tied for 43rd.
 
Last years winner, Eduardo Romero, shot an even-par 72 on Sunday to tied for 19th at 3 under.
 
The course record was altered three times during the week. Norman, Sindelar, Dan Forsman and amateur Tim Jackson all tied for mark Thursday with 66s.
 
That record was bettered Saturday when Cochran had a 64. Roberts then tied Cochrans mark.
 
Jackson, who led after the first two days, shot a 4-over 76 on Sunday to tie for 11th. His 72-hole score of 282 was the lowest by an amateur in U.S. Senior Open history, shattering the record of 288 set by Greg Reynolds and George Zahringer in 2005. Jackson also shot the lowest round for an amateur in a U.S. Senior Open, a 66 on Thursday.
 
Jacksons score of 133 over the first two days matched the tourneys best 36-hole mark.
 
This was a great experience and a great week, the 50-year-old said. Even as old as I am, I learned a lot.
 
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    Alabama faces 'buzzsaw' Arizona for NCAA title

    By Ryan LavnerMay 23, 2018, 2:00 am

    STILLWATER, Okla. – There was no way Laura Ianello could sleep Monday night, not after that dramatic ending at the NCAA Women’s Championship. So at 12:15 a.m., the Arizona coach held court in the laundry room at the Holiday Inn, washing uniforms and munching on mozzarella sticks and fried chicken strips from Sonic, her heart still racing.

    Ianello got only three hours of sleep, and who could blame her?

    The Wildcats had plummeted down the team standings during the final round of stroke-play qualifying, and were 19 over par for the day, when junior transfer Bianca Pagdanganan arrived on the 17th hole.

    “Play the best two holes of your life,” Ianello told her, and so Pagdanganan did, making a solid par on 17 and then ripping a 6-iron from 185 yards out of a divot to 30 feet. There was a massive leaderboard positioned to the right of the par-5 18th green, but Pagdanganan never peeked. The only way for Arizona to force a play-five, count-four playoff with Baylor and reach match play was to sink the putt, and when it dropped, the Wildcats lost their minds, shrieking and jumping over the ropes and hugging anyone in sight.

    Watching the action atop the hill, Alabama coach Mic Potter shook his head.

    “I was really glad we didn’t win the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed,” he said, “because they’re a buzzsaw with a lot of momentum.”

    Given new life, Arizona dispatched Baylor by three strokes in the playoff, then turned its attention to top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals on Tuesday morning.


    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

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    Facing two first-team All-Americans, the Wildcats beat them, too, continuing the curse of the medalist. In the afternoon, worried that the adrenaline would wear off, Ianello watched her squad make quick work of Stanford, 4-1.

    “They’ve got a lot of great momentum, a lot of great team energy,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said. “They thought they were going home, and now they’ve got a chip on their shoulder. They’re playing with an edge.”

    After a marathon doubleheader Tuesday at Karsten Creek, Arizona now has a date with Alabama in the final match of this NCAA Championship.

    And the Wildcats better rest up.

    Alabama looks unstoppable.

    “They’re rolling off a lot of momentum right now,” Ianello said. “We know Alabama is a good team. But they’re super excited and pumped. It’s not the high of making it [Monday]; now they’ve got a chance to win. They know they have to bring it.”

    Even fully rested, Arizona will be a significant underdog against top-ranked Alabama.

    After failing to reach match play each of the past two years, despite being the top overall seed, the Tide wouldn’t be stopped from steamrolling their competition this time.

    They roughed up Kent State, 4-1, in the quarterfinals, then frontloaded their lineup with three first-team All-Americans – Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight – in their semifinal tilt against Southern Cal.

    Potter said that he was just trying to play the matchups, but the move sent a clear signal.

    “It gets pretty tedious when you never miss fairways and hole a lot of putts and your opponent knows that you’re not going to spray it,” Potter said. “That’s tough to match up against.”

    They breezed to the first three points, draining any drama out of the semifinals. Of the 99 holes that Bama’s Big 3 played Tuesday, they trailed after only two.

    “We’re always consistent,” Stephenson said, “and that’s exactly what you need in match play. Someone has to go really low to beat us.”

    That Arizona even has that chance to dethrone the Tide seemed inconceivable a few months ago.

    The Wildcats had a miserable fall and were ranked 39th at the halfway point of the season. On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, sent a text to Ianello that she was turning pro. Once she relayed the news, the team felt abandoned, but it also had a newfound motivation.

    “They wanted to prove that they’re a great team, even without her,” Ianello said.

    It also was a case of addition by subtraction: Out went the individual-minded Quihuis and in came Yu-Sang Ho, an incoming freshman whom Ianello described as a “bright, shining light.”

    Because incorporating a top-tier junior at the midway point can be intimidating, Ianello organized a lively team retreat at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson, where they made vision boards and played games blindfolded.

    They laughed that weekend and all throughout the spring – or at least until Pagnanganan made that last-ditch eagle putt Monday. Then tears streamed down Ianello’s face.

    Folding uniforms after midnight, she regaled Alabama assistant coach Susan Rosenstiel with stories from their emotional day on the cut line, not even considering that they might face each other two days later for a national title. She was too delirious to ponder that.

    “I feel like a new mother with a newborn baby,” Ianello said. “But we’re going off of adrenaline. This team has all the momentum they need to get it done.”

    Yes, somehow, the last team into the match-play field might soon be the last team standing.

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    Pairings, tee times set for championship match

    By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 1:02 am

    STILLWATER, Okla. – Alabama coach Mic Potter has three first-team All-Americans on this team. It’s little surprise that all three are going out first in the Crimson Tide’s championship match against Arizona Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

    Potter tinkered with his lineup in both the quarterfinal victory over Kent State and the semifinal win over USC. But with the NCAA title on the line, this one was a no brainer.

    “We don’t want to sacrifice anything,” Potter said. “We just want to give ourselves a chance to win every match.”

    Arizona kept its lineup the same all day Tuesday in defeating Pac-12 foes UCLA and Stanford in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. That meant junior Bianca Pagdanganan, the Wildcats grittiest player this week, was in the last match of the day. She won twice.

    Now, with all the marbles riding on the championship match, Arizona coach Laura Ianello moved Pagdanganan up to the third spot to assure that her match is key to the final outcome.

    Junior Haley Moore, Arizona’s best player all year, is in the fifth spot and will face Alabama senior Lakareber Abe.

    “Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a helluva ride,” Ianello said.


    Alabama (2) vs. Arizona (8)

    3:25PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (AL) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (AZ)

    3:35PM ET: Kristen Gillman (AL) vs. Gigi Stoll (AZ)

    3:45PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (AL) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (AZ)

    3:55PM ET: Angelica Moresco (AL) vs. Sandra Nordaas (AZ)

    4:05PM ET: Lakareber Abe (AL) vs. Haley Moore (AZ)

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    Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

    By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

    STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

    Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

    Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.


    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


    Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

    Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

    Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

    “I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

    Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”

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    NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:30 pm

    The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

    After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

    Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

    Scoring:

    TV Times (all times ET):

    Wednesday
    4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)