Funk wins Tradition for third major title
SUNRIVER, Ore. – The Jeld-Wen Tradition is leaving Sunriver Resort’s Crosswater Golf Club in central Oregon after a four-year run.
No one is going to miss it more than Fred Funk.
The 54-year-old Funk won the tournament – the fourth of the Champions Tour’s five majors – for the second time in three years, closing with a 3-under 69 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Michael Allen and Chien Soon Lu.
“I really like this golf course, and I really like this area. Obviously, it’s been good to me,” said Funk, 47 under in four Tradition tournaments at Crosswater.
Funk, also the 2009 U.S. Senior Open winner, has six Champions Tour victories. He won eight times on the PGA Tour.
The former Maryland coach took the lead for good with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 598-yard, par-5 16th, then two-putted from 40 feet for par at 18 to finish at 12-under 276 on the Sunriver Resort’s Crosswater Golf Club course.
Allen shot a 67, and Lu had a 69.
Eight players were tied or had the outright lead at some point on the back nine. When the final group had five holes left, 12 players were within two strokes.
Funk, who won the third Champions major of his career, began the round two strokes behind third-round leader Tom Lehman. Funk was in contention throughout the day, at one point making seven consecutive pars before his birdie at 16.
Funk’s 276 total is the highest winning score in the Tradition since 2002, when Jim Thorpe won at Desert Mountain at 11-under 277.
“Nobody was taking off. I thought that Tom or Bernhard (Langer) would get to 13 or 14 under, but nobody did,” Funk said. “Guess it was a testament to how tough the golf course was playing.”
Langer, attempting to become the second player in Champions Tour history to win three consecutive majors, shot a 73 to tie for 10th at 8 under.
Lu had a chance to tie Funk at 18, narrowly missing a 40-foot chip shot for birdie.
“I don’t know how he missed that shot,” Funk said.
Allen reached 12 under with a birdie at 15, but bogeyed 16.
Allen made a tournament-high 25 birdies, but it wasn’t enough to offset his play at the par-4 fourth, where he was 5 over for the week.
“I was taking three steps forward and two steps back all week,” said Allen, the 2009 Senior PGA winner.
Lehman (73) and Mark Calcavecchia (66) tied for fourth at 10 under.
Jeld-Wen is ending its relationship as title sponsor, and the Champions Tour is expected to announce its plans for the tournament this week.