Funk Says He's Young At Heart
SUNRIVER, Ore. -- The Champions Tour hasn't seen the last of Fred Funk, but neither will it see as much of him. Funk, 52, has temporarily abandoned his plan of playing both the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour.
Funk, whose 66 in the second round thrust him into contention in the Jeld-Wen Tradition, said that his intention is to play the PGA Tour virtually full time in 2009. The Champions Tour will be his fallback position, he said, in the event he is "not playing well or competing well.
"I've got that opportunity and I don't want to give it up," said Funk, who has a PGA Tour exemption through 2010 by virtue of his winning the 2005 Players Championship. "I want to give it one more good run. I still really enjoy playing with the young kids. I still don't consider myself the senior guy out there."
Nor does he concede that age in any manner has begun to erode his skills. In fact, he said he's a better player at 52 than he was at 42, and that, "I've worked at my game harder than I've ever worked at it."
Funk learned that splitting his time on two tours this year has diluted his ability to meet his own expectations on either, simplifying his decision. He missed six cuts in 13 starts on the PGA Tour and has won only once in nine Champions Tour starts, that coming in January.
"I'm going to play the regular tour exclusively next year," he said.
-- John Strege