Funk cruises to 6-shot win at Senior Open|
Carmel, IN (Sports Network) - Fred Funk fired a seven-under 65 on Sunday and
cruised to a six-shot win at the U.S. Senior Open, capturing his second major
title in record fashion.
Funk finished at 20-under 268, breaking Hale Irwin's nine-year-old
championship record for most strokes under par by three shots.
When he rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and pumped his fist
in a histrionic finish, Funk entered the United States Golf Association record
books as the lowest player under par in any of its championships.
The USGA also runs the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Amateur, among
many other championships.
"I just tried to keep the pedal to the metal and go down as low as I could
get," said Funk, 53, who picked up $470,000 for the largest check of his
Champions Tour career.
Joey Sindelar shot a two-under 70 and finished a distant second place to Funk
at 14-under 274, while Russ Cochran had a 68 and took third at 12-under 276.
Greg Norman, playing in the final pairing with Funk, stumbled to a 73 and
slipped into a tie for fourth place with hard-charging Loren Roberts (64) at
Funk led Norman by a shot entering the round, and it didn't take long to see
that he would be a tough front-runner to catch.
He rolled in a six-foot birdie putt at No. 2 and drained a 15-footer for
birdie at No. 4 to increase his lead over Norman to three shots. Two birdies
around the turn -- at Nos. 9 and 10 -- gave Funk a four-shot advantage.
Even when he got into trouble Sunday -- hitting from the tall grass on the
back nine -- Funk found a way to get out of it. He didn't make a bogey in the
final round and played his last 22 holes without one.
"On a couple of occasions when I got in trouble, I got out of trouble," said
Funk. "I had some clutch putts or good wedges in there."
Already comfortably in the lead, Funk didn't slow down. He added birdies at
the 12th, 15th and 18th holes to run away with it -- although he never knew
how good a position he was in.
"I didn't look at the board. I had a feeling that I had a little bit of a
lead, but [my caddie] didn't let me look until I hit the green on 17," said
Funk. "So it was a big relief to free-wheel it on 18."
Funk, who collected his fifth tour win, earned an exemption into the 2010 U.S.
Open at Pebble Beach. He was surprised to learn he set the USGA scoring
record but not apt to focus on it.
"The biggest thing is getting [my] name on that trophy," Funk said.
08/02 19:55:57 ET