POWs Positive Thinking and Funk

By Rich LernerFebruary 28, 2007, 5:00 pm
Hustling out of his hotel room in South Florida, Fred Funk considered the possibility. If he broke out the same skirt he donned at The Skins Game when Annika out drove him, he could take a run at victory on three different tours in the same year.
That would get a little coverage, he cracked.
Fred Funk
Fred Funk gives his son, Taylor, a hug after winning the Mayakoba Classic. (WireImage).
Funk annihilated the field in Hawaii to win on the Champions Tour in January, and this past weekend survived back pain in gutting out another on the PGA TOUR in Mexico. So how is a short-hitting, 50-year-old beating all comers?
Its a choice, he says plainly, between positive and negative thoughts.
And its a system developed by Lanny Bassham of Mental Management, a system that traces its roots to Egypt and the infamous Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam.
Bassham was an Olympic marksman. From 300 meters he could hit a target the size of an eraser in between heartbeats. Hed taken silver at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Two years later, bound for Cairo and The World Championships, he found himself seated next to a man who listened to Bassham wallow in negativity. The gentleman, Bassham would soon learn, had been released from a POW camp in Vietnam, shot down and then held in a 4-foot box for months.
The man was dying. He began to talk to God. Let me not suffer, he prayed. Rain then fell. From the leaves of a tree overhead, water funneled into his mouth. Sustained, he resolved to live, and began to think of things he loved, like sports.
The man would tell the struggling Olympian of a fellow prisoner who passed the time in captivity playing golf -- in his mind. He hit thousands of drives. He made putt after putt after putt. The man weighed 90 pounds upon release. Returning home to San Diego, he saw a golf course and instructed the driver to pull into the pro shop. He wanted to play, but was told he needed to be a member.
The man shuffled to the grill and a roomful of people. He introduced himself. Im a commander in the U.S. Navy and was shot down in Vietnam, he began. I just want to play golf.
The people stood, saluted and cried. The man played his round. Miraculously, he shot even par.
Thats impossible, someone said when hed finished. You havent played in years.
You dont understand, the man said. I havent missed a shot in six years.
Parable or fact, it mattered little. Bassham absorbed the lesson, the question lingering.
Are you living in a box or a free world?
Bassham won gold in 1976 in Montreal. More than three decades later he dispenses those principles learned on the road to Cairo to athletes and executives looking for an edge.
The system is about the positive imprinting of your mind, explains Funk.
If I hit a bad shot and then say, Oh, that figures or Thats typical, it shrinks my self image, Funk said. Im better off if after the bad shot I say, Thats not my normal shot or Im much better than that; so Im simply more positive as I move forward. Im looking for solutions instead of dwelling on the negative and what just happened.
Last week was a good test as he fought lower back pain. The sciatica majigee, was the self diagnosis from Dr. Funk. At a point Saturday, when he nearly walked in, he could barely swing as he made bogey at the 12th. It was then he decided simply, It is what it is. Im just going to do the best I can.
He got an adjustment on 13. He got mad at 14. I sort of adopted this feisty attitude, he said. I told myself I was going to win despite my back.
He went on to shoot 64 in round three. I was real proud of that round, he beamed.
On Sunday, he wasnt striking the ball well. He countered with a hot putter, and a steady mind. I wasnt going to let it go because of a bad attitude or a bad back, he emphasized. I chose not to do that.
Late last year Freds wife, Sharon, told me of their new quest, preparing to silence the skeptics who figured Fred had his moment of glory when he won The Players at 48.
He beats himself up, Sharon said. Hes not Woody Austin, but he beats himself up.
Im brutal on myself, Fred added in the October conversation. Im an upbeat guy, but I hadnt been positive on the golf course. This game creates opportunities to be negative. It beats you up.
Funk pointed to Tiger as the reverse example. He pictures himself winning long before he tees off. Hes got the edge on everybody.
Upon turning 50 last June, Funk buckled under the early pressure of being tabbed a Champions Tour savior and sure winner. His putting floundered. He left The Senior Players in Dearborn certain only that he had to change.
Three wins later, he says defiantly, Im not willing to be pinned in the box of negativity.
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Furyk: Not a 'good idea' to team Tiger, Phil at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 1:12 pm

Those hoping for another Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson partnership at the Ryder Cup might be sorely disappointed.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk all but slammed the door on the reboot Monday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Speaking at the CVS Health Charity Classic, Furyk laughed off the idea and said that it wouldn’t be a “good idea” for him to team them again.

“It worked out so well the first time,” he said, chuckling, referring to the 2004 matches, where captain Hal Sutton paired the sport’s two biggest stars and watched them go 0-2 en route to a lopsided team defeat at home.

Colin Montgomerie, who was also on the set and a member of that ’04 European squad, chimed in: “It was a great decision for Europe!”

Woods and Mickelson’s relationship has improved in recent years, since they were part of the task force that morphed into the Ryder Cup committee. They even played a practice round together this year at the Masters. But Furyk seemed to suggest even that wouldn’t be enough to put them together again in Paris.

“I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing,” Furyk said. “I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”

Both Mickelson and Woods are outside the top 8 automatic qualifiers. Mickelson is currently ranked 10th, while Woods is now 39th.

Woods has already been named a vice captain for this year’s matches, though Furyk said that Woods had broached the topic of being a playing vice captain as early as January. Furyk added that he hasn’t discussed what Woods would need to show him over the course of the year to be considered for a captain’s pick.

“He hasn’t played as big of a schedule as everybody else,” Furyk said, “but when he has played, he’s played pretty well. Definitely an eye-opener for everyone.”

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Grandma hopes sick JT has some 's***-kicking antibiotics'

By Grill Room TeamJune 25, 2018, 1:08 pm

Justin Thomas tied for 56th at the Travelers Championship, still recovering from a brutal test at the U.S. Open and, apparently, battling an illness.

Thomas is next competing at this week's French Open, along with the likes of Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and a host of potential Ryder Cup foes.

Count his grandmother as one who is pulling – really, really pulling – for his physical recovery.

Grandmothers are the best. And as you can make out from the top of the text exchange, she finally figured out what was on JT’s pants in Round 1 at Shinnecock Hills.

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What's in the bag: Travelers champion Watson

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:22 pm

Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship for a third time in his career. Here's a look inside his bag:

Driver: Ping G400 LST (7.6 degrees), with Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Prototype X shaft

Fairway wood:  Ping G (13.2 degrees), with Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2 X shaft

Irons: Ping iBlade (2), Ping S55 (4-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52 degrees, 55 degrees, 63 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Putter: Ping PLD Anser

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Travelers purse payout: Bubba, Cink close low, earn big

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:06 pm

Bubba Watson shot 63 on Sunday to win the Travelers Championship. He took home the trophy, but he wasn't the only player to earn a big payday. Here's how the purse was paid out at TPC River Highlands:

1 Bubba Watson -17 $1,260,000
T2 Stewart Cink -14 $462,000
T2 Beau Hossler -14 $462,000
T2 J.B. Holmes -14 $462,000
T2 Paul Casey -14 $462,000
T6 Kevin Tway -13 $234,500
T6 Brian Harman -13 $234,500
T6 Russell Henley -13 $234,500
T9 Chase Seiffert -12 $189,000
T9 Bryson DeChambeau -12 $189,000
T9 Anirban Lahiri -12 $189,000
T12 Rory McIlroy -11 $147,000
T12 Ryan Blaum -11 $147,000
T12 Jason Day -11 $147,000
T15 Charley Hoffman -10 $115,500
T15 Patrick Cantlay -10 $115,500
T15 Danny Lee -10 $115,500
T15 Kyle Stanley -10 $115,500
T19 Brooks Koepka -9 $79,000
T19 Fabian Gomez -9 $79,000
T19 David Lingmerth -9 $79,000
T19 Zach Johnson -9 $79,000
T19 Emiliano Grillo -9 $79,000
T19 Matt Jones -9 $79,000
T19 Jamie Lovemark -9 $79,000
T26 Sam Ryder -8 $49,700
T26 Si Woo Kim -8 $49,700
T26 Richy Werenski -8 $49,700
T26 Blayne Barber -8 $49,700
T26 Steve Marino -8 $49,700
T26 Peter Malnati -8 $49,700
T26 Patrick Rodgers -8 $49,700
T33 Alex Cejka -7 $39,550
T33 Tyler Duncan -7 $39,550
T33 Kevin Streelman -7 $39,550
T36 Seamus Power -6 $35,175
T36 James Hahn -6 $35,175
T38 Scott Stallings -5 $30,800
T38 Russell Knox -5 $30,800
T38 Brandon Harkins -5 $30,800
T38 Lanto Griffin -5 $30,800
T42 Adam Hadwin -4 $24,500
T42 J.J. Henry -4 $24,500
T42 Jordan Spieth -4 $24,500
T42 Mackenzie Hughes -4 $24,500
T42 Brett Stegmaier -4 $24,500
T47 Billy Hurley III -3 $17,578
T47 Vaughn Taylor -3 $17,578
T47 Sam Saunders -3 $17,578
T47 Kelly Kraft -3 $17,578
T47 Keegan Bradley -3 $17,578
T47 J.J. Spaun -3 $17,578
T47 Wesley Bryan -3 $17,578
T47 Denny McCarthy -3 $17,578
T47 Scott Brown -3 $17,578
T56 Ryan Armour -2 $15,680
T56 Keith Mitchell -2 $15,680
T56 Ken Duke -2 $15,680
T56 Justin Thomas -2 $15,680
T56 Hunter Mahan -2 $15,680
T61 John Huh -1 $14,910
T61 Martin Laird -1 $14,910
T61 Steve Wheatcroft -1 $14,910
T61 James Driscoll -1 $14,910
T61 Tom Lovelady -1 $14,910
T61 Nick Hardy -1 $14,910
T67 Daniel Berger E $14,350
T67 Trey Mullinax E $14,350
T69 Cameron Tringale 1 $14,000
T69 Kyle Thompson 1 $14,000
T69 Ethan Tracy 1 $14,000
T72 Dominic Bozzelli 2 $13,650
T72 Martin Flores 2 $13,650
74 Padraig Harrington 4 $13,440