Odd Couple Gore Funk Lead Shootout

By Sports NetworkNovember 11, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Franklin Templeton ShootoutNAPLES, Fla. -- Fred Funk and Jason Gore combined for a 9-under-par 63 on Friday to take the lead after one round at the Franklin Templeton Shootout.
The pairings of Fred Couples and Adam Scott, Mark O'Meara and Nick Price and John Houston and Kenny Perry share second place after carding 8-under-par 64s in the modified alternate shot format.
Jason Gore
Jason Gore helped Fred Funk take the first-round lead.
Ryan Moore and Jesper Parnevik are alone in fifth place at minus-7. Two-time defending champions Hank Kuehne and Jeff Sluman are one stroke further back in a tie for sixth place with Paul Azinger and Olin Browne.
Kuehne and Sluman were near the bottom of the leaderboard around the turn, but they recovered by playing the back nine at 5 under.
Tournament host Greg Norman and partner Steve Elkington are in 11th place after a 3-under 69. The event, which was created by Norman and his wife with a goal of raising money for children's charities, is being held at Norman's Tiburon Golf Club for the fifth straight year.
In the modified alternate shot format, pairings select the best drive off the tee on each hole. The player whose drive is not selected hits the second shot, and players alternate shots after that until the hole is completed.
It can be a rewarding format for pairings with a good balance between distance and accuracy. The consistent Funk, who ranks second in driving accuracy, and the rising star Gore, who averages around 310 yards off the tee, fit the profile.
'What's really different for me is that I have never really been paired with a guy who hits it as long as he does,' said Funk. 'When you are playing alternate shot and you get to pick his drive ... that's a big difference. The game is a lot easier from where he is playing his second shots.'
'We probably stole a few and left a few out there,' said Gore. 'That is what you have to do in alternate shot. He kept hitting fairways and I tried to hit some good iron shots. That is pretty important around here.'
The leaders, who were 5 under around the turn, finished off a seven-hole stretch at 14 during which they collected six birdies to reach minus-9. They stumbled to a bogey at the 16th after Funk hit an errant iron shot, but got that stroke back on 17 despite hitting into a bunker.
Gore's good wedge shot at 18 left the pair with an 8-foot birdie try, but Funk pulled the putt left and they finished with a par.
'Unfortunately on 18 I hit a horrible shot after he hit such a great second shot in there,' said Funk. 'If there are any regrets, it would be 16 and then not getting one on 18 when we hit it in there close.'
Kirk Triplett and Jay Haas are alone in eighth place after a 5-under-par 67. They lead the pairings of John Daly and Tim Herron and Peter Jacobsen and Scott McCarron by one stroke.
Finishing the day alone in 12th place, one stroke behind Norman and Elkington, were Mark Calcavecchia and Loren Roberts, who combined to shoot a 2-under 70.
The weekend will feature best-ball on Saturday and a scramble on Sunday as teams vie for part of the $2.6 million purse.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Franklin Templeton Shootout
  • Full Coverage - Franklin Templeton Shootout
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    Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated” while taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

    Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor, he made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

    Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

    Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

    “I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

    Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

    “I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

    Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

    “No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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    Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

    Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

    “We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

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    To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

    “I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

    Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

    “Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

    The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

    “We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

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    Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

    The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

    Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.

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    “I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

    Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

    “We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”