Funk wants to put a frustrating week behind him

By Associated PressSeptember 24, 2009, 11:53 pm
Champions Tour

CARY, N.C. – Fred Funk wants to put a frustrating week of golf behind him with a strong showing at the SAS Championship.

“I would love to play well here and carry some momentum into Baltimore next week,” Funk said Thursday. “I really want the Schwab Cup.”

Funk leads Loren Roberts by 57 points with Bernhard Langer third, 375 points back in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.

The SAS Championship begins Friday at Prestonwood Country Club. After that, the Champions Tour heads to Maryland for the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, where points for the Cup are doubled.

With both Roberts and Langer out of last week’s Greater Hickory Classic field, Funk missed an opportunity to pad his points lead by finishing out of the top 10.

“It was a bizarre week with that two-shot penalty,” the 53-year-old Funk said. “It ate at me all week, but those things happen.”

Funk was issued a two-stroke penalty after accidentally using another player’s club last week at Rock Barn when his caddie handed him a club from Mike Goodes’ bag. Funk called it an understandable mistake because the two bags look alike, and the players use the same brand of clubs.

“I just have to put that behind me,” said Funk, who finished tied for 12th and one stroke out of the top 10.

Funk likely will need a strong performance this week considering the Hall of Fame field at this year’s SAS Championship, with 27 of the top 30 money-winners from last year and 17 PGA major champions.

In addition facing players such as Tom Kite, Nick Price, Lee Trevino and Curtis Strange, Roberts also is playing this weekend after a two-week hiatus.

The 54-year-old has finished in the top five in his last five tournaments, dating back to his playoff win at the Senior British Open.

He last played in early September at the Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, where he tied for fifth.

“I wanted to be rested for” the SAS, Roberts said. “It’s a good purse, with a quality field.

“I wanted two weeks off for the stretch run. The next two weeks, it’s important to play well.”

Defending champion Eduardo Romero said he’s ready to bounce back from some poor showings this year after a stellar 2008 season in which he won three times.

“When I see the field, there are more than 15 majors champions,” the 55-year-old Romero said. “It’s fantastic. I love it when there’s a strong field. Last year was the best year of my career, but this year, it’s different. I’m ready though. I came here to win.”

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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.