Funk wins second Tradition title in three years

By Associated PressAugust 23, 2010, 2:41 am
Champions Tour

SUNRIVER, Ore. – The Jeld-Wen Tradition is leaving Sunriver Resort’s Crosswater Golf Club in central Oregon after a four-year run.

No one is going to miss it more than Fred Funk.

The 54-year-old Funk won the tournament – the fourth of the Champions Tour’s five majors – for the second time in three years, closing with a 3-under 69 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Michael Allen and Chien Soon Lu.

Fred Funk
Fred Funk has won a senior major each of the last three years. (Getty Images)

“I really like this golf course, and I really like this area. Obviously, it’s been good to me,” said Funk, 47 under in four Tradition tournaments at Crosswater.

Funk, also the 2009 U.S. Senior Open winner, has six Champions Tour victories. He won eight times on the PGA Tour.

The former Maryland coach took the lead for good with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 598-yard, par-5 16th, then two-putted from 40 feet for par at 18 to finish at 12-under 276 on the Sunriver Resort’s Crosswater Golf Club course.

Allen shot a 67, and Lu had a 69.

Eight players were tied or had the outright lead at some point on the back nine. When the final group had five holes left, 12 players were within two strokes.

Funk, who won the third Champions major of his career, began the round two strokes behind third-round leader Tom Lehman. Funk was in contention throughout the day, at one point making seven consecutive pars before his birdie at 16.

Funk’s 276 total is the highest winning score in the Tradition since 2002, when Jim Thorpe won at Desert Mountain at 11-under 277.

“Nobody was taking off. I thought that Tom or Bernhard (Langer) would get to 13 or 14 under, but nobody did,” Funk said. “Guess it was a testament to how tough the golf course was playing.”

Langer, attempting to become the second player in Champions Tour history to win three consecutive majors, shot a 73 to tie for 10th at 8 under.

Lu had a chance to tie Funk at 18, narrowly missing a 40-foot chip shot for birdie.

“I don’t know how he missed that shot,” Funk said.

Allen reached 12 under with a birdie at 15, but bogeyed 16.

Allen made a tournament-high 25 birdies, but it wasn’t enough to offset his play at the par-4 fourth, where he was 5 over for the week.

“I was taking three steps forward and two steps back all week,” said Allen, the 2009 Senior PGA winner.

Lehman (73) and Mark Calcavecchia (66) tied for fourth at 10 under.

Jeld-Wen is ending its relationship as title sponsor, and the Champions Tour is expected to announce its plans for the tournament this week.

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Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


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“Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

“There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

“Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

“Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.