Funk Upstages Cup Leaders

By Sports NetworkOctober 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 AT&T ChampionshipSAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Fred Funk, four months removed from his 50th birthday, fired a 6-under-par 65 on Friday to take the first-round lead of the AT&T Championship.
 
Funk, the 2005 Players Championship winner on the PGA TOUR, is playing in only his third event on the Champions Tour after a pair of 11th-place finishes at the U.S. Senior Open and Senior Players Championship. He has primarily honed his craft this year on the PGA TOUR, but comes onto the elder circuit with high expectations.
 
'It's a big difference for me being the favorite,' said Funk, a seven-time winner on the PGA TOUR. 'I was a favorite in the mid-Atlantic section, but never on the PGA TOUR.'
 
Funk is one ahead of Scott Simpson, Dan Pohl and R.W. Eaks at Oak Hills Country Club. Mike McCullough, Raymond Floyd, Lonnie Nielsen and Keith Fergus are knotted in fifth place at 4-under-par 67.
 
Funk parred his first three holes on Friday, then knocked an 8-iron to 15 feet to set up birdie at the fourth. He parred his next three, but collected back-to-back birdies at eight and nine, with the one at eight inside a foot from the hole.
 
The 50-year-old continued his strong play on the second nine, although he did not capitalize on the par-5 10th. He made par there, but converted a 5-footer for birdie at the 11th.
 
Funk parred his next three holes, including a clutch save at the short, par-4 14th. He two-putted for birdie at the par-5 15th to join the group at minus-5.
 
The former Ryder Cupper hit a sand-wedge to 11 feet to set up a birdie at the 17th. That moved Funk into sole possession of the lead at 6 under par and he stayed on top with a par at the last.
 
'I hit some good putts that didn't go in and I made some good up and downs,' said Funk. 'I tried to be real aggressive with my swing. It was a relaxing day.'
 
Aside from being in first place in a Champions Tour event, Funk is battling against something else that's new for him. His previous two Champions Tour events were majors, thus 72 holes. This tournament is only 54 and it will take some adjustments from Funk.
 
'Three rounds is like a sprint,' acknowledged Funk. 'You've got to get going early, force the issue. I'm not used to it yet. I'd love to put myself in position to win on Sunday.'
 
Loren Roberts, second on the Champions Tour money list, Dick Mast, Tom Purtzer, D.A. Weibring, Mark McNulty, Craig Stadler, Hale Irwin, Walter Hall, James Mason, Hajime Meshiai and Mark James, 31st on the money list, one spot out of making next week's Charles Schwab Cup Championship, are tied for 10th place at 3-under-par 69.
 
Jay Haas, the defending champion and the money list and Charles Schwab Cup race leader, opened with a 1-under-par 70 and is tied for 33rd place.
 
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    Nadal checks phone for Tiger update after match

    By Grill Room TeamAugust 15, 2018, 3:04 pm

    Even the greatest athletes in the world were captivated by Tiger Woods' Sunday run at the PGA Championship.

    After winning his match on Sunday to capture the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Rafa Nadal turned his attention to Woods. Cameras focused on Nadal scrolling through and surveying his phone. He then revealed that he was trying to get a Tiger update from the PGA Championship, where Woods made a spirited run to solo second place.



    Woods has often been seen at tennis events, watching Nike buddies Roger Federer (no longer primarily sponsored by Nike) and Nadal. Woods and his children watched from Nadal's box during the 2017 U.S. Open and Nadal was on hand at the 2017 Hero World Challenge, when Woods made his return from back surgery.

    For the record, Woods has 14 major wins and Nadal has 17 Grand Slam titles, both second all-time in their respective sports.

    Check out the video below as Golf World's Anna Whiteley talks to Nadal about his love of golf in the 2016 interview.

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    U.S. Amateur playoff: 24 players for 1 spot in match play

    By Associated PressAugust 15, 2018, 1:21 pm

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer and Daniel Hillier were tied at the top after two rounds of the U.S. Amateur, but the more compelling action on Tuesday was further down the leaderboard.

    Two dozen players were tied for 64th place after two rounds of stroke play at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. With the top 64 advancing to match play, that means all 24 will compete in a sudden-death playoff Wednesday morning for the last spot in the knockout rounds.


    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos


    They'll be divided into six foursomes and start the playoff at 7:30 a.m. on the par-3 17th at Pebble Beach, where Tom Watson chipped in during the 1982 U.S. Open and went on to win.

    The survivor of the playoff will face the 19-year-old Hillier in match play. The New Zealander shot a 2-under 70 at Spyglass Hill to share medalist honors with the 18-year-old Hammer at 6 under. Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas who played in the 2015 U.S. Open at age 15, shot 68 at Spyglass Hill.

    Stewart Hagestad had the low round of the day, a 5-under 66 at Pebble Beach, to move into a tie for 10th after opening with a 76 at Spyglass Hill. The 27-year-old Hagestad won the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur and earned low amateur honors at the 2017 Masters.

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    Hammer in position (again) to co-medal at U.S. Am

    By Ryan LavnerAugust 14, 2018, 10:37 pm

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer is in position to go for a rare sweep in this summer’s biggest events.

    Two weeks ago, Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas, was the co-medalist at the Western Amateur and went on to take the match-play portion, as well.

    Here at the U.S. Amateur, Hammer shot rounds of 69-68 and was once again in position to earn co-medalist honors. At 6-under 137, he was tied with 19-year-old Daniel Hillier of New Zealand.

    “It would mean a lot, especially after being medalist at the Western Am,” Hammer said afterward. “It’s pretty special.”

    No stroke-play medalist has prevailed in the 64-man match-play bracket since Ryan Moore in 2004. Before that, Tiger Woods (1996) was the most recent medalist champion.  


    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos


    On the strength of his Western Am title, Hammer, 18, has soared to No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He credited his work with swing coach Cameron McCormick and mental coach Bob Rotella.

    “Just really started controlling my iron shots really well,” said Hammer, who has worked with McCormick since 2015, when he qualified for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay as a 15-year-old.

    “Distance control with my wedges and all my iron shots, playing different shots, has become really a strength in my game. I’ve really turned the putter on this year, and I’m seeing the lines and matching the line with the speed really well. I think that’s been the key to my summer.”

    A two-time New Zealand Amateur champion, Hillier is ranked 27th in the world. He said that, entering the tournament, he would have been pleased just to make it to match play.

    “But to come out on top, it’s amazing,” Hillier said. “Cole is a really good golfer and has been playing well lately. So, yeah, I’m in good company.”

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    Tee times, TV schedule, stats for Wyndham Championship

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2018, 9:55 pm

    It's the last tournament of the PGA Tour's regular season as the top 125 in the FedExCup points list advance to next week's playoff event. Here's the key info for the Wyndham Championship. (Click here for tee times)

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


    Purse: $6 million

    Course: Sedgefield Country Club (par 70, 7,127 yards)

    Defending champion: Henrik Stenson. Last year he defeated Ollie Schniederjans by one stroke to earn his sixth career PGA Tour win.


    Notables in the field

    Henrik Stenson at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    Henrik Stenson

    • Missed the cut last week at the PGA Championship

    • Six top-10 finishes this year, including T-5 at the Masters and T-6 at the U.S. Open


    Sergio Garcia

    • Eight missed cuts in last 10 PGA Tour starts

    • Currently 131 in FedExCup standings (33 points back of 125th)


    Webb Simpson

    • Five top-10 finishes in this event since 2010 (won in 2011)

    • 56 under par in last five years in this event (best of any player in that span)