What they said: Fred FunkAugust 01, 2009
PGA TOUR staff
U.S. SENIOR OPEN: Transcript archive
THE MODERATOR: Championship leader at 13-under, Fred Funk.
Q. Greg said he's charging you for the shirts now.
FRED FUNK: That's a good line. (Chuckles.)
Q. Talk about your day.
FRED FUNK: I had a good time, and that's the key. I had a really good time, and I'm still playing well. I didn't drive the ball quite as good as I did the first two days. I hit a poor drive on 4 today, but I got away with it. I laid up out of the rough and hit a good putt.
The back nine I drove the ball better, really good, I drove it right down the left side on 10, and I was right in the middle of an old divot the wind filled in. It was sitting way down there and I had to hit a 5-iron at it, so I was pretty far back.
14 I hit a drive exactly on the lie I wanted to and it went through into a terrible lie, and I hacked that out. 15 was the best drive I hit all week. Well, not the best drive but a good drive today for sure. I'm right in a filled-in divot and I played the divot on that one. I had a 3-iron rescue and Mark said, "Anything but long," and I hit it long.
Q. It was probably your own divot, right??
FRED FUNK: No, I couldn't reach that divot the other day --
Q. That would make a better story --
FRED FUNK: Yeah.
Q. Down the stretch, tell us about that.
FRED FUNK: 16 was huge, hit a great drive downhill, and I thought I was more to the right but it ended up being more of a perfect angle. And I hit a 7-iron, I thought I was closer to the hole than that. I was probably 25 feet, probably, just perfect, it was a perfect putt.
17 is just a brutal hole, almost impossible pin to get to, Greg hit the perfect shot right in the middle of the green. I'm up there on that hill thinking, Mark wanted me to play for the 4, and because it was above my feet lie and the ball could go anywhere -- but I thought if I chipped it safe down to Greg it was a tough 2-putt and I could still make 5 so why not pull something off.
I ended up coming out great with a great chip and made a great putt out of the first cut. That felt better than the birdie, especially after 14. I hit the drive I wanted and I felt like I let 2 go there, and as hard as 14 is, you have the up tee, you like to make par there, and Greg has the momentum going when he makes the eagle on 15, and we reversed it, and that doesn't happen it very often where the guy makes a 2-shot swing on the hole before and then gets it back the next hole.
I felt really good about it. Greg didn't feel good about it, but as far as fans, it was probably pretty exciting.
Q. What about the gallery??
FRED FUNK: All the galleries have been great. It's phenomenal support by the community here. Makes me feel good about the Champions Tour when they support you so well.
Q. On 17, what was going through your mind??
FRED FUNK: If I hit it too easy and I don't get it out of that rough and I'm up on the hill making 5, 6 -- probably 5 and maybe even a 6, and more than likely I was going to make a 4, but I could chip it long and still make a 5 if it goes where everybody walks.
I didn't have too many options, but over where Greg was a simple chip, let it trickle over where Greg was and I'm thinking that's a tough 2-putt so decided to go for it and try to make a 3 out of it. If I do anything else -- I was not going to make a 3 if I played it too conservative.
I got away with it. It was a hard tee shot. I hit two of my best shots all week on that hole. I made a good shot the other day and hit it about 5-feet yesterday and missed it, and I thought it was almost impossible to get it anywhere close, and today's pin I don't know who could possibly get it close to that pin. It was just really, really tough.
Q. Talk about the finish in general. Four of the last five holes have the four toughest, 14, 16, 17 and 18. Is that where we're going to see the Championship come down to??
FRED FUNK: Definitely, and even 13, it's a tough lick tricky hole, and 14 is 14, and 15 you've got to take advantage of it; that's your breather coming in. But you want to make a 4 there if you can.
And 16 is a brutal tee shot and you guys probably know which is the hardest hole this week, but I believe it's 17. Probably 14 is the toughest, and the tee shot on 18 is no gimme, so it's tough.
Q. Greg said he feels a good rhythm when he plays with you. Do you feel the same way??
FRED FUNK: Yeah, I do. We play at a good pace with each other. We're not super fast but we're not slow at all, so it's a nice rhythm. We can have some -- now and then we talk, I like talking a little more, but when we come up with something to talk about, we'll talk.
We have conversation and we root each other on and that's fun. I love seeing -- Greg is driving the ball -- I told him on 18 after his drive I said, "man, you're driving it as good as" -- pick any age you want. I didn't pick an age, I said his driving was fantastic, and all day long he was striping it and hitting it a long way.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Fred.