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Funk finishes strong to win

January 21, 2008|From the Associated Press

Fred Funk won the Champions Tour's season-opening MasterCard Championship at Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii, on Sunday, birdieing the final two holes for a seven-under-par 65 and a two-stroke victory over Allen Doyle.

The 51-year-old Funk, coming off a 10th-place tie last week in the PGA Tour's Sony Open, finished with a 21-under 195 total for his third Champions Tour victory in 14 starts and his second title in Hawaii in two years.

Doyle, who blew a four-stroke lead, had a 68.

Funk screamed "Yes!" and raised his club in the air after he chipped in from 20 feet on No. 17. He then holed a seven-foot birdie putt on the 54th hole after hitting a spectacular shot out of the bunker from 149 yards.

Jay Haas, seeking a record third straight money title and player-of-the-year award, closed with a 67 to tie for third with Bernhard Langer (65) at 17 under.

First-round leader Tom Purtzer had a 69 to finish fifth at 16 under.

The wind was down most of the day until late in the afternoon, when it changed directions and shook the palm trees and most of the players, except Funk, who earned $300,000 in the first of 29 Champions Tour events.

Funk opened the season on the PGA Tour, tying for 25th in the Mercedes-Benz Championship and tying for 10th at Waialae.

Defending champion Hale Irwin closed with a 68 after two rounds in the 70s. He tied for 30th in the elite field of 41 with a six-under 210 total.

The 62-year-old star, who has nine official victories in Hawaii, beat Jim Thorpe and Tom Kite last year by five strokes for his tour-record 45th victory.


Jennifer Rosales and Dorothy Delasin of the Philippines shot a seven-under 65 to beat South Korea by two strokes in the Women's World Cup of Golf at Sun City, South Africa.

Juli Inkster and Pat Hurst of the United States had six birdies and a bogey for a final-round 67. Their 208 gave them a share of 10th with Scotland.

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