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Funk shoots 65 to take Turtle Bay lead

Funk shoots 65 to take Turtle Bay lead

Fred Funk handled the tradewinds and tricky greens with ease in shooting a bogey-free 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Turtle Bay Championship on Friday.
Tom Kite, coming off a second-place tie in the MasterCard Championship, was two strokes back along with David Eger, John Harris, Kiyoshi Murota and Tom McKnight in the Champions Tour's first full-field event of the year.
Hale Irwin, the MasterCard winner going for an unprecedented seventh victory in the event, made the turn in 41 and fought back to a 2-over 74. He had a quadruple bogey on the par-4 seventh that dropped him to 5 over.
After a solid drive, Irwin hit in the water twice en route to the snowman.
Starting on No. 4, Irwin went bogey-bogey-birdie-quadruple bogey-birdie-bogey. He found his form on the back nine, birdieing No. 12 and eagling the par-5 18th.
It was Irwin's third round above par in 31 rounds at Turtle Bay.
Last week, the 61-year-old Irwin had a 23-under 193 total to beat Kite and Jim Thorpe by five strokes for his tour-record 45th victory and the first in 15 months.
Funk had seven birdies. He made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 14th to take the outright lead at 6 under, and birdied the 18th to reach 7 under.
Funk joined the 50-and-over circuit in June and made three starts, going wire-to-wire to win the AT&T Championship and tying for 11th in the U.S. Senior Open. He also had three top-10 finishes last year on the U.S. PGA Tour.
The former University of Maryland coach has seven U.S. PGA Tour victories, including the 2005 The Players Championship.
Jerry Pate, D.A. Weibring and Hawaii's David Ishii opened with 68s, and defending champion Loren Roberts, who opened last year with three wins, was another stroke back along with Chip Beck, Des Smyth and Allen Doyle.
Last year, Roberts snapped Irwin's Turtle Bay winning streak at five and completed a two-week Hawaiian sweep, holing a 9-foot eagle putt on the final hole for a two-stroke victory over Scott Simpson.
After playing in ideal conditions last week at Hualalai, the players were challenged by the wind and the water hazards. The Palmer Course was the seventh hardest on tour last year, with the oceanside layout playing to an average of 73.111.
Eger, a two-time Champions Tour winner, had a tough bogey-bogey start and bounced back by birdieing three of the next five holes with long putts. He sank a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 11 and gave back a stroke on the next hole before birdieing Nos. 14 to 17. He had eight birdies in his round.
"It was a lot of work. Very windy today," Eger said. "Probably could have shot 75. Not sure I could have shot lower."
The 54-year-old former U.S. Golf Association and U.S. PGA Tour executive had three top-10 finishes last year, including a fifth-place tie in the Toshiba Classic.
Harris, who won last year's Commerce Bank Championship in a playoff for his first Champions Tour victory, made the turn at 33 and bogeyed No. 11 before putting together three straight birdies. The former University of Minnesota ice hockey player's best U.S. PGA Tour finish was a tie for 26th in the 1976 Hawaiian Open.
Playing in the last group, Murota birdied four of the first six holes and birdied the last hole to reach 5 under.
Jay Haas, last year's Champions Tour player of the year, struggled to a 76. Dana Quigley, the 2005 player of the year, also had a 76. He had a quadruple bogey on the 18th.


Updated : 2021-03-02 16:34 GMT+08:00