MADISON, Miss. -- Fred Funk had played well enough to win in the past month, but twice let one bad hole on the final day cost him a chance at victory.
Funk didn't allow that to happen Sunday, making four birdies on the back nine after an uneventful start to win the Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic.
Thomson's Franklin Langham did the opposite. The former University of Georgia golfer was one stroke behind until making bogey on the tricky, 409-yard par-4 17th hole. He got up and down from woods behind the green for his five after flying his approach into an unplayable lie. In Saturday's third round, Langham led until making triple-bogey 7 on the 17th and lost the lead.
Funk made his charge after shooting even-par his first nine holes and falling four strokes behind Langham. Funk started with a birdie at No. 10 when his 7-iron approach shot stopped inches short of the hole.
"I was upset at the turn. At No. 1, I had a great drive and sand wedge shot and missed a birdie, and struggled from that point on," Funk said.
Maybe a struggle to stay even, but there were no triple bogeys like on the final day at both Hartford and Kemper that knocked him out of contention.
"I've been playing good and been two strokes away from winning two already," said Funk, who has three top five finishes his last four tournaments.
Funk shot a final-round 68 for an 18-under 270 total and his fifth PGA victory, becoming the 22nd different winner on Tour this year. Funk's last victory was the 1996 B.C. Open.
Langham finished two strokes back in second place with Paul Goydos and Tim Loustalot, who carded a final-round 66 for his first top 30 finish in 37 tournaments.
Langham was trying to become the PGA Tour's fourth first-time winner in six weeks. His second-place finish and paycheck of $89,600 were his best ever on the PGA tour and boosted him into the top 100 on the PGA Tour money list with over $185,000 this season.
"On the back nine, it was not a case of playing bad. I just misjudged a couple of shots and caught a couple of flyers," said Langham, who regained his PGA Tour card at Qualifying School last winter.
Funk began the final round tied with Mike Brisky, two shots ahead of the field. He played the front nine in even par and stood in the No. 10 fairway at 14-under as Langham tapped in a birdie on the green to go to 18-under.
But Langham, who had a front-nine 31, bogeyed the 11th, 13th, and 17th.
Like Langham, Funk had a tap-in birdie at the 407-yard 10th. Funk took a par at No. 11 and then sank long birdie putts -- 25 and 30 feet -- on the next two holes to take a one-stroke lead.
"Those were two really nice putts that I don't expect to make. That catapulted me up a little bit," Funk said. "I felt my experience down the stretch could have helped me. I was relaxed after No. 13, but I was a nervous wreck before that."
The two were both 17-under through 15 holes. But Langham's 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole was too hard, and Funk converted his 8-foot birdie.
Langham then went to No. 17, where he had a triple bogey Saturday just after taking the lead. While he was two strokes better Sunday, his bogey and Funk's par there settled the tournament.
Funk, the former Maryland golf coach, now has won more than $4.2 million in 10 full PGA Tour seasons.
After finishing third in the Kemper Open, he withdrew from the Buick Open after a first-round 74 and then followed with top-five finishes the last two weeks at Hartford and Quad City.
Loustalot had nine birdies and three bogeys Sunday. The former Nike Tour player, who regained his PGA card at Qualifying School last winter, had made just 10 cuts before this weekend and had never finished better than 32nd.
Brisky quickly fell out of contention for his first PGA Tour victory when he started the day double bogey-bogey.
Brisky's first two shots of the day hit trees and the third ended up in a bunker short of the green, and he didn't get up and down. On No. 2, a 213-yard par 3, his tee shot missed the green to the right. After pitching over a small creek, he two-putted for bogey.
© 2018. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us