Notebook: Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Round 2

November 01, 2013
By Vartan Kupelian and Dave Senko, PGATOUR.COM

SAN FRANCISCO – Fred Funk made the seventh hole-in-one in Charles Schwab Cup Championship history Friday.

Funk used a 4-hybrid on the 204-yard eighth hole. It was his second career ace on the Champions Tour.

“The minute I looked up, I put my arms up,” Funk said. “When it was in the air, Rocco (Mediate) said, ‘That’s going to cost you.’”

There has been a hole-in-one at TPC Harding Park in each of the three years the season-ending tournament has been played here. Bernhard Langer made a hole-in-one in 2010 and Mark Wiebe did it in 2011, both on the third hole.

Funk’s ace came in the middle of a birdie-eagle-birdie stretch on the front nine and put him into contention. The charge came undone on the back.

“Both days I had it going and lost it on the back,” he said. “Today, (the culprit) was the putter.”

Funk has posted identical rounds of 32-38 -- 70. He had two three-putts on the back Friday and 18 total putts.

For each eagle during the tournament, Chevron is donating $10,000 to the Eagles for Education program. Each eagle during the tournament benefits 1,000 young people from The First Tee.

“When you hit a shot like that and it benefits the kids from The First Tee, it makes it all the better,” Funk said. “That’s awesome.”

LIKE THE KING: It is something Rocco Mediate learned from Arnold Palmer. Being affable and accommodating is an easy thing to do so why not?

“I get ticked off and mopey and all that like everybody else does,” Mediate said. “But the job is trying not to let people see that. It’s easy to be cool when you shoot 65. Can you do it when you shoot 75? That’s the trick. That’s what Mr. Palmer taught me forever, and it’s hard to do.”

Mediate, like Palmer, has his roots in the Pittsburgh area.

“I get to play golf for a living,” Mediate said. “Think about that for a second. I get to play golf for a living. It’s 30 years starting January 1st. That's cool in itself. I never thought that would ever happen when I first started.”

Mediate has mastered the art of never letting on that distractions might be getting the best of him.

“I take a lot of pride in not doing that even though sometimes I'm like, ‘Oh, here we go again,’” he said. “You can't, because (the fans) came out to watch me or whoever. Someone comes to watch you, you've got to give them something for their money, period. And if you can't do that, shame on you.”

TRYING TO WIN IT ALL: Bernhard Langer knows what he has to do and through two rounds at TPC Harding Park, he is doing it.

Langer must win if he is to capture the Charles Schwab Cup and the $1 million bonus that goes with it. And he needs the leader, Kenny Perry, to slip just a bit. Langer added a second-round 68 to an opening 67 and is at 7-under. That’s good for sole possession of fourth place, five shots behind leader Fred Couples, and while Langer isn’t where he needs to be yet, he has at least put himself in position to challenge on the weekend.

Langer’s ball-striking has been superb. He is first in fairways hit (24 of 28) and second in greens in regulation at 83.3 percent (30 of 36).

Perry shot 71-139, and is tied for 11th.

SUPER ROOKIE: Rookie Bart Bryant carved out a smooth 68 and at 134 is alone in third place behind Couples and Peter Senior.

“I think 5-under was a really solid round out there today,” Bryant said. “Scores aren't quite as low as they were (Thursday). I'm not sure why. There's maybe just a hint more breeze.

“That kind of moved me up solidly into position where if I play well on the weekend I might have had wedges in my hand, I wedged it close and made them.”

Bryant made birdies on the difficult 11th and 12th holes, a 200-yard par 3 followed by a 480-yard par 4.

“That’s a big bonus on this course,” he said.


-- Fred Couples’ matched his opening-round 65 with a bogey-free 65 on Friday to open a two-stroke advantage over Australia’s Peter Senior, the tournament’s first-round leader. Couples, who started the day two behind Senior, birdied four holes on the front nine and added a pair on the back nine on his way to the 36-hole lead. A day after matching the lowest first-round score in tournament annals with a 63, Senior followed with a 69 to surrender his lead.

-- Couples’ 36-hole total of 130, matches the second-lowest 36-hole total in tournament history. Jay Haas set the record after rounds of 66-60—126 (-14) last year at Desert Mountain. Couples 65-65—130 (-12) matched the 130 (-14) totals by Jim Thorpe (2003) and John Cook (2009) at the Sonoma Golf Club.

-- So far in his four appearances in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, 10 of the 14 rounds Fred Couples has played have resulted in a round in the 60s and 12 of those have been below par. He is averaging 68.0 per-round.

-- Couples and Peter Senior have played together a total three times in their careers on the Champions Tour. The first was in the second round at the 2010 Ensure Classic at Rock Barn, the second and third were at the 2011 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship where they played in the final two rounds.