Funk shoots 5-under 67 to seize sole lead at Champions Tour event in South Korea

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Funk shoots 67 to seize sole lead in South Korea

INCHEON, South Korea — Fred Funk shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to take the lead at the rain-soaked Posco E&C Songdo Championship, the Champions Tour’s first event in Asia.

Funk sank a 12-foot putt on the par-5 18th hole for his fifth birdie of the day and stands at 8-under 136.

Tom Pernice, Jr., Russ Cochran and John Cook were two shots behind in a three-way split for second at 138.

Michael Allen and D.A. Weibring stood three shots back at 139. Allen was one of three co-leaders with Funk after the first round.

Jay Don Blake shot a 4-over 76 to fall nine shots back. Blake was the other first-round co-leader.

Funk, aiming for his second win in three weeks, carded three straight birdies on the 13th, 14th and 15th holes.

“Those birdies were important because they got me out of that logjam of players,” said the 54-year-old American, who won the Jeld-Wen Tradition last month in Oregon by one stroke.

The 54-hole tournament has been plagued by heavy rains. The start of play was delayed Saturday by one hour. Friday’s first round was delayed over 90 minutes.

Pernice had the day’s best round with an 8-under 64 that featured eight birdies.

“Gave myself a lot of opportunities out there and was able to capitalize on many of them,” he said.

Champions Tour money leader Bernhard Langer of Germany shot a 3-under 69 to stand at 142. Tom Watson, runner-up in the British Open last year, shot a 4-under 68 for a two-day total of 143, seven shots behind Funk.

The event at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in the port city of Incheon, west of Seoul, has a record Champions Tour purse of $3 million. The winner will take home $456,000. Nicklaus designed the course.

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