GRAND BLANC, Mich. — Fred Funk improved his age by a stroke Friday with a 7-over 65 to lead the first round of the PGA Tour Champions’ Ally Challenge.
Funk, 66, closed the round birdie-free on the par-4 ninth at Warwick Hills, Buick’s Open on the PGA Tour from 1958 to 2009.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever shot my age or broken my age in competition, so that was pretty cool,” Funk said. “I’ve done it a couple of times just for fun, but I’ve always wanted to do one here. It feels good to finally break that.”
Funk was released in 2010. In 2014, he partnered with Jeff Sluman at Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf to win the last nine majors. His last personal victory was in It was in 2012. He also won eight times on the PGA Tour.
“It was a magical day,” Funk said. “It’s amazing because I haven’t had a round in the 60s, I can’t even remember when. It’s been a long time, I’ve been playing a little better lately.”
In the year Woody Austin, winner of the 1995 Buick Open, was tied with Brett Quigley and Stephen Ames at age 66. Scott Parel at 67
“That’s the difference between turning the best in a year,” Austin, 58, said. “It’s the first round this year where I haven’t played or scored as well as I should have. I’ve been playing well and scoring as high as I can every day, and today is the first time I’ve made enough putts. And I feel like I’ve come out with something, no matter what.
In upstate New York Sunday, Dick Sporting Goods Open winner Padraig Harrington led the big group with Ernie Ells and Charles Schwab Cup leader Steven Alker with a 68. Defending champion Joe Durant shot 69.