Funk misses cut, as his roller-coaster year hits dip KEMPER OPEN


POTOMAC -- There is one thing about the game of golf -- just when you think you have it under control, you find out you don't.

It happened to Fred Funk at Tournament Players Club-Avene yesterday, as he went 3-over par on his first three holes and never really recovered, finishing with a 73 and a 36-hole total of 144.

That left him 2-over and needing binoculars to see those wh made the cut. The line was drawn at 2-under 140, with 79 players remaining to play the last two rounds.

The 140 equaled the low cut score of the year. The Phoeni Open cut was 2-under-par 140 in late January, and the Shearson Lehman in San Diego was 4-under-par 140 in mid-February.

"I got off to a bad start [from No. 10] and just couldn't putt," Funk said. "Actually, it was a little bit of everything.

"I doubled 11, hit it in the water at 12, then had it close [fo birdies] on the next three and missed all of them. After that, I had a good front nine [2-under], but I figured I had to shoot 6-under to do anything."

It has been a feast-or-famine year for Funk, a Laurel resident wh plays out of the host club and will be 35 in two weeks.

For 18 tournaments, he is now even in cuts, nine up and nin down. However, of the nine he had made, there have been five finishes in the top 10, and his earnings of $192,212 are his single-season best.

"It seems like the breaks went the other way this week. Whe things are going good, even bad shots turn out OK. When things aren't going good, though, it seems that bad becomes really bad."

He will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open at Woodmon Country Club in Rockville (167 players vying for 43 places)

Monday, then take the rest of the week off.

"I've been playing well, but nothing went in. It was just one o those weeks."

* Just about the time the leader board had settled in with Hal Sutton and Greg Norman at 1-2, fourth-year pro Billy Andrade made a late surge and barged into the party with a 64, a 36-hole total of 132 and a tie with Norman, one shot off the lead.

The 64, later matched by Jeff Sluman (70-64134), equaled th tournament course record, which is shared by nine others.

Fellow pro Mike Hulbert persuaded Andrade to play here afte missing the cut twice and skipping the tournament the last three years.

"I was playing in the Colonial pro-am on Wednesday [last week with Ben Brundred III [son of the Kemper Open general chairman], and he asked if I was playing [in the Kemper], and it reminded me I had not committed, so I stopped at the fifth hole -- Southwestern Bell, the sponsor, had telephones all over the place -- and called the tour office to commit."

Andrade, 27, whose best finish was a tie for second in the Buic Open two years ago, opened with a 68 Thursday, then kept it going. He had a great start yesterday with an eagle and two birdies to go 4-under after five holes but bogeyed No. 6, hitting a shot into the water.

From there through No. 12, Andrade rolled along with pars. Th break came at 12, and "it helped me."

It certainly did. From there, he birdied four of the last six hole and now is looking forward to challenging good friend Norman today.

"My attitude has been good," Andrade said. "I'm confident wit my swing, and with 2-4-5 finishes, I feel I know how to handle the pressure."

* The PGA Tour, which had just announced that it was using netechnology from the National Weather Service to protect crowds from possible lightning strikes at the Kemper, promptly used it to suspend play for 47 minutes in midafternoon.

"Our chief concern is public safety, whether it be a parade, a gol tournament or any other large gathering," said Jim Belville, meteorologist in charge of the Washington forecasting office.

"We have new technology that detects and maps lightning as i occurs. We get concerned when there is a flash within 25 miles. That gives us about an hour leeway for decisions to be made."

PGA Tour tournament official Glenn Tait, himself a pilot, pointe out that the lightning is plotted with a radiuses of 25 miles, 10 miles and five miles.

"This forewarns us. At 10, we disperse the cars to staging areas and at five, we suspend play and get the players off the course.

"At Hilton Head, I was just getting Lanny Wadkins in a van whe lightning struck a tree about 50 yards away. The next thing you knew, the van was in some friendly guy's hedge, and we were in his garage."

* Sluman is tied with eight others at 8-under 134. Sutton's 36-hole total was one shot lower than the previous mark, set by Chris Perry in 1987 and tied by Jay Don Blake in 1989. Among those missing the cut were defending champion Gil Morgan (70-143), former champion Tom Kite (72-142) and former Frederick resident Donnie Hammond (76-146). Although they failed to make the cut, amateur Richard Holland of Columbia Country Club and professional Bob Boyd of Woodmont Country Club made the best showings among area players. Holland three-putted No. 6 for par, double-bogeyed No. 7 after hitting into a hazard and ended with an even-par 69-73142. Boyd ended up 71-72143.

* Mike McGinnis of Holly Hills Country Club, glad he played despite his 75-83158, had two birdies on each side but followed the one at No. 11 with a double bogey at No. 12 and followed the other at No. 16 with three balls in the water and a 9 at No. 17.

"I need to be in better physical condition for this walking," said McGinnis, at 52 the oldest player in the field. Asked whether he missed a short putt for an 8 at No. 17, he said, "No, I had a 40-footer for the 8 and a 6-footer for the 9."

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad