Funk leads at soggy Sunningdale
Fred Funk set a record halfway total at The Senior Open Championship, but Sam Torrance is hot on his heels.
Fred Funk set a record halfway total at The Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard but Sunningdale expert Sam Torrance is hot on his heels going into the weekend.
The 55-year-old Scot carded a sublime round of 65 to reach eight under for the week, just three shots behind 53-year-old American Funk, who matched Torrance’s score.
Torrance, who lives in nearby Virginia Water and knows Sunningdale’s old course “like the back of my hand”, birdied the first and fourth after Funk had already set the clubhouse target at 11 under before a two-hour delay for a thunder storm.
After a gutsy par putt at the seventh Torrance looked in trouble at eight when his tee shot found the large greenside bunker but he splashed out to six feet and again held his nerve.
“I would have been miles behind if I’d bogeyed them both,” he said. “You can’t look at it that way.”
That sparked a spectacular run of birdie-birdie-par-birdie after the turn which propelled the former Ryder Cup captain into second place, although a shanked approach to the 16th cost him a shot.
That was put right with a birdie at 17 and after finding trouble at the last Torrance got up and down for par.
“It’s not pay day, there’s still two more days to go,” Torrance added.
“I know the greens better than anyone, I had good speed with the putter today.”
Funk recorded an eagle two at the par-four 18th after he sunk a 174-yard eight-iron to reach 11 under after 36 holes, one better than anyone has managed at a Senior Open before.
That capped a flawless round as the former Ryder Cup star shot three birdies without dropping a stroke for the second day running.
“I don’t feel like I shot 65,” said Funk. “It’s just the way it all added up at the end.
“When you do what I did at the finish and then all of a sudden you’re five under par, you go, ‘wow, where did that come from’?
“It wasn’t like I walked off thinking I shot this great round, although it was a round I would have loved to have before I teed off, that’s for sure.
“I birdied 16 and holed a shot on 18 and all of a sudden it looks like a great round that I played.”
Funk reached halfway with an impressive 129 aggregate for the second time in three tournaments, although at The Dick’s Sporting Goods Open last month he could only go on to tie for second.
He added: “There’s a lot of golf to be played, but yeah, I’m playing well. If I keep doing what I’m doing and especially putt as well as I’ve been putting, it will be hard to catch.”
America’s Loren Roberts, the 2006 winner of the event at Turnberry, sits third after a 68 took him to six under, one better than his compatriots Mike Allen and Tom Kite.
Tom Watson was level par for the day and three under for the week with one to play, and the afternoon delay made it unlikely all of the field would complete their second rounds on Friday night.
Japanese golfing hero Hideki Matsuyama’s top five PGA Tour victories
Following his victory on home soil in the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP we take a look at the 29-year-old’s finest PGA Tour moments.
Mallorca champion Jeff Winther nearly missed final round due to bathroom drama
Winther’s six-year-old daughter had to come to the rescue.
Jeff Winther claims maiden European Tour title with Mallorca victory
The 33-year-old Dane finished one shot clear of Sebastian Soderberg, Pep Angles and Jorge Campillo.
Hideki Matsuyama triumphs on home soil to take ZOZO Championship title
Matsuyama finished five shots clear of runner-up Brendan Steele.
Hideki Matsuyama one shot in front heading into final round of ZOZO Championship
The 29-year-old Japanese held a three-shot advantage at one stage down the back nine.
Matt Wallace remains in contention at ZOZO Championship after strong finish
Wallace was two over par for his first 15 holes at Narashino Country Club but birdied the 16th, 17th and 18th to add a 69 to his opening 65.
Matt Wallace two shots off the lead after first round of the ZOZO Championship
Home favourite Hiroshi Iwata led the way on seven under.
Collin Morikawa looking forward to having fans back in Japan
The American is racking up the miles as he contends at the start of the PGA Tour season and the end of the European Tour campaign.
Rory McIlroy’s 20 PGA Tour wins: From the breakthrough in 2010 to THE CJ CUP last week
The Northern Irishman was supreme at the weekend, holding off the challenge of Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa in Las Vegas.
Billy Horschel sets out to double prize money at event aimed at boosting diversity
The 34-year-old American hosted the inaugural Billy Horschel APGA Tour Invitational at Sawgrass in July.