Funk likely to WD at Innisbrook with chest strain

Fred Funk (file photo)

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Fred Funk has made one cut on the PGA Tour in four starts in 2011, and it may be awhile before he gets another chance. Funk is likely to withdraw from the Transitions Championship before the first round because of a strain in his chest.

During the pro-am at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif., last week, Funk began to experience pain near the tip of his sternum that continued to get worse through the weekend.

Funk didn’t withdraw, but in hindsight thinks he should have.

“I haven’t hit a ball since Sunday,” Funk said on the putting green Tuesday at Innisbrook. “The doctor says I can’t hurt it anymore, it comes down to if I can take the pain.”

Funk had a similar injury earlier in his career, but the pain was up near his left shoulder. That injury took six months to heal. This injury causes pain when he reaches the top of his back swing, and again when he brings the club back to the ball.

On Monday night, Funk slept on his side and woke up with pain that felt like a knife was sticking in his chest, making his chances of playing less likely.

The 2005 Players Champion, Funk believes that injury might be related to tightness in his mid-back. He has not seen a doctor, but has taken some medicine from the physical therapist on site at Innisbrook.

“I’m 80 percent sure I’m not going to play, which is sad because I really like this golf course,” Funk said.

If Funk doesn’t play this week, his next planned start on the PGA Tour will be Hilton Head.

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