Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead and … Fred Funk? One name doesn’t fit with the others. Even Funk would be the first to admit that but he joined that Hall of Fame trio as the only players age 64 or older to make a cut on the PGA Tour.
Funk, 64, shot 1-under 141 to make the 36-hole cut at the Bermuda Championship.
“Shoot, I didn’t know they were that old and still played a Tour event. I knew Watson had maybe. Wow, that’s pretty good,” he said. “Watson, Nicklaus and Snead? That’s really good. And then Funk. You throw that in there, it doesn’t sound right, does it?”
If making a cut wasn’t special enough, Funk did it while playing in a threesome that included son Taylor, who celebrated his 25th birthday by missing the cut.
“This guy is pretty damn good for an old guy,” Taylor said.
Indeed, he is. Funk, winner of the 2005 Players Championship among his eight PGA Tour titles, spends nearly all of his time competing on PGA Tour Champions, where he’s won nine times in all. But he played on a sponsor’s exemption last year at the inaugural Bermuda Championship and missed the cut.
"Just a dream come true."
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 29, 2020
“The whole time I was saying, why aren’t we playing together?” Funk said of last year when father and son played in separate groups. “It would just be so much fun to play together, and it was beyond fun to play with him. Yesterday and today was really phenomenal. Something you kind of dream about or think about. I don’t know if you actually can put it whether it’s really going to happen, the probability of it happening, but it did and it’s really special.
“The only reason I played this week was because I was in the field with Taylor. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go yesterday the way I felt Wednesday in the pro-am. I said, I’m going to go and tee it up and see what happens. I played surprisingly really well.”
On a blustery day that made scoring difficult, Funk carded 1-over 72 despite averaging just 234.5 yards off the tee. He bogeyed three of his first six holes on Friday, but rallied with four birdies on the inward nine and overcame a double bogey at No. 5, his second nine.
“When he made that double on 5, I was like, ‘Oh, God,’” said Taylor, who approached his father after the hole and said, “I’m your cheerleader now, I’m 6 over. I was rooting him on and tried to keep him upbeat and keep his mind off his body aches.”
Taylor, a former member of the Texas Longhorns who is still seeking status on one of the professional tours, struggled to a 36-hole aggregate of 12-over 154.
“I wish it was flipped, I really do. I wish he was out there competing in the championship on the weekend,” Fred said. His son’s weekend off did nothing to diminish his own pride in his accomplishment.
“It feels good to know you can do it,” said Fred, who took just 24 putts in each of the first two rounds. “Not many guys even have an opportunity to play this late into their career on a regular Tour event.”
Fred capped off his day with a chip-in birdie at No. 9, which led to quite the father-son celebration.
“Yeah, he almost killed me. He horse collared me and I wasn’t ready for it,” Fred said.
“I went the other way and I was like, ‘I didn’t hurt you, did I?’ He’s very fragile nowadays,” Taylor said. “No, it was a cool moment to hug him after that. Looked like he was about to cry making the cut again.”
A chip-in for Fred Funk at the last.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 30, 2020