Funk birdies 18th hole to win Greater Hickory Classic

By Associated PressOctober 14, 2012, 8:30 pm

CONOVER, N.C. – Fred Funk won the Greater Hickory Classic for his second Champions Tour title of the year and eighth overall, holing a 2-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat Duffy Waldorf by a stroke.

The 56-year-old Funk closed with a 3-under 69 on Rock Barn's Jones Course to finish at 15-under 201. He also won eight times on the PGA Tour.

''I really wanted to win here really bad,'' Funk said. ''I've been knocking at the door on this tournament a lot ... but I was feeling the heat. When you get in contention, you always want to finish it.''

Funk had a bogey-free tournament and has gone 60 holes without a bogey since the 13th hole last week in the final round of the SAS Championship. He also extended his run of bogey-free holes at Rock Barn to 84, beginning with the seventh hole in the second round last year.

Also the winner at The Woodlands in Texas in May, Funk opened with consecutive 66s to take a one-stroke lead into the final round.

Funk made his first birdie of the round on No. 12 after hitting his second shot out of a fairway divot, and added a second birdie on No. 14. The birdies allowed Funk to keep a share of the lead with Waldorf, who began the day at 8 under but climbed into contention with six birdies. Waldorf finished with a 66.

''I had two great days of putting, and that made the difference,'' said Waldorf, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour who became eligible to play the 50-and-over tour in August. ''That really got me going. I would've liked to have hit the ball closer a few more times, because I was rolling in the putts.''

However, Waldorf came up short on a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the lead. That opened the door for Funk, who put his second shot on the fringe, then chipped to set up the winning putt.

''I assumed Duffy was going to birdie No. 18,'' Funk said. ''When I saw that I needed a birdie to win, I played real aggressive with my tee shot. I just smoked a 3-wood, and hit a great chip. Still, I was pretty nervous about that putt.''

Mark Wiebe, the winner last year in a playoff, also birdied No. 18 to move into third at 10 under. He had a 70.

Chip Beck, Jay Don Blake, John Cook, first-round leader Dan Forsman and Peter Senior tied for fourth at 9 under. Blake and Cook shot 68, Forsman and Senior had 70s, and Beck shot 71.

Bernhard Langer, the Charles Schwab Cup points leader who also tops the money list, had a 69 to tie for ninth at 8 under. Tom Lehman, second in the points race, finished at 3 under after a 71.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.