Fred Funk was watching the leaderboards all day. Only, he wasn't looking at the top, he was trying to see where the cut would fall.
The 53-year-old was even par when he made the turn on Friday -- two strokes shy of what he needed to play the weekend. But Funk, who makes his home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., played the back nine in 34 to make the cut on what turned out to be the number at 2 under.
"This could be my last PLAYERS Championship, so I didn't want to go down the weekend without playing," Funk said. "It meant a lot to me. You never want to miss the cut, especially at home."
Funk won THE PLAYERS in 2005, and this is the final year of his five-year exemption. He splits his time between the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, but offseason knee replacement has slowed his progress in 2010.
An eight-time winner on the PGA TOUR who has five Champions Tour victories, Funk is coming off his best finish of the season in a tie for fourth at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic. He hasn't been happy with his putting, though, and he went to a claw grip on Friday.
"I putted pretty good the first seven holes," Funk said. "I missed a little one on 8 and 9, and it put me behind the eight-ball going down the back nine and then I made some great putts on the back nine. Just a scratch-and-claw round.
"I'm real pleased. I thought (the cut) would be 2. ... I made a really clutch putt on 13, well, sheesh, on 11, 13 and 15 for par and then a long one on 16 and a nice two putt on 18. So it was good." -- Helen Ross