Funk birdies final 2 holes to win MasterCard

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Last season, Fred Funk fell $2,036 shy of becoming the first golfer to earn $1 million on both the PGA and Champions tours.

This season, he's well on his way to accomplishing his lofty personal pursuit of becoming golf's first $2 million man.

Funk earned $300,000 after he won the Champions Tour's season-opening MasterCard Championship on Sunday with birdies on the final two holes for a 7-under 65 and a two-stroke victory over Allen Doyle.

The 51-year-old Funk finished with a 21-under 195 for his third Champions Tour victory in 14 starts and his second title in Hawaii in two years.

Funk raised his club in the air after he chipped in from 20 feet on No. 17. He then holed a 7-foot birdie putt on the 54th hole, after hitting a spectacular 6-iron shot out of the bunker, capped with an emotional high-five to his caddie.

"What are you going to do?" said Doyle, who blew a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play and finished with a 68. "The chip on 17. The great sand shot on 18. That's the way it goes."

Funk's victory comes after he earned $185,571 in his first two PGA Tour events. He opened the year by tying for 25th in the PGA Tour's Mercedes-Benz Championship and tying for 10th place last week at the Sony Open.

Next, he heads to Oahu to defend his title at the Turtle Bay Championship, which he won by 11 strokes last year.

"If I can stay healthy, I think I can do it," Funk said. "It's not a slight to anybody. It's just the fact that I don't have any goals. It would be very difficult for me to win the Schwab Cup. I can't really do much on the FedEx Cup. So I have to have my own little cup."

The Freddie Cup?

Last year, he earned $1.2 million in 22 PGA Tour events and $997,964 in 10 Champions Tour events. A birdie putt by Denis Watson at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship prevented him from becoming golf's first $1 million man.

Funk acknowledges $1 million on each will be extremely difficult to accomplish since he plans on playing at just 15 events on the regular tour, more if he can qualify for the majors, and 13 tournaments on the 50-and-over circuit.

He estimates it will take about five or six wins on the Champions Tour.

Players on the senior circuit have encouraged Funk to stick to the regular tour, where he won the Mayakoba Golf Classic last year.

"Then I go out (to the PGA Tour) and they all say, 'What the hell are you doing out here. You're supposed to be out there,"' he said. "I'm confused."

Forecast
PGA Tour News
Trips
Travel & Courses
Lessons
Tips & Videos
The Shop
Equipment News & Reviews