Furyk, Funk catch fire to grab lead
CHASKA, Minn. -- Tiger Woods' opening tee shot in the PGA
Championship went according to plan, a piercing 2-iron in the
middle of the fairway.
Thursday at Hazeltine
HOLE OF THE DAY: No. 16. Aside from Daly's 11, there were 25 other scores of double-bogey or worse. The 402-yard par 4 played to an average of 4.711. Fewer than four of 10 players reached the green in regulation. It wasn't so bad for England's Greg Owen, however. He holed a 140-yard 7-iron from the fairway for an eagle.
DALY DOINGS: As long as John Daly is playing majors, the unbelievable is just around the corner. The 1991 PGA champ hit his first two balls into the water on the 16th hole and took an 11, jumping from even par to 7-over. But instead of sulking, Daly rallied with four birdies on his final nine holes and is at 5-over. Aside from his 11, Daly was 2-under for the round.
For the record: It isn't Daly's worst hole of his career. He had an 18 several years ago at Bay Hill, when he hit six balls into the water.
SHARK ATTACK:: Greg Norman, second twice in the PGA, was 2-under and on the first page of the leaderboard when play was stopped. He's played 15 holes.
MONTY UPDATE:Colin Montgomerie shot 74. "I had one birdie and that wasn't enough," he said. "I had a lot of chances. Didn't make them."
PLAYING WITH THE BIG BOYS:Sean Farren shot the low round of the day among the 25 club pros with a 2-over 74. Farren is the head pro at Totteridge Golf Club in Greensburg, Pa.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:"For the most part, we are just second-fiddle to those guys." -- Defending champion David Toms, whose drives were always short while playing with long-hitting Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. -- David Kraft
He was walking toward his ball when a siren sounded. He wasn't
sure what it meant until he turned and saw black clouds gathering
on the horizon, signaling a storm delay that lasted nearly three
''It did surprise me that they blew the horn,'' he said.
Woods wasn't the only one surprised after an unusual opening
round in the final major championship of the season.
Jim Furyk, who had missed the cut in the three previous majors,
had a 4-under 68 for a share of the lead. Joining him was Fred
Funk, who didn't even qualify for the Masters, U.S. Open or British
John Daly had a 77, with 11 of those coming on one hole, the
David Toms started the day as the defending champion and ended
it feeling a bit overmatched in the presence of Woods (71) and
Ernie Els (72). He had a 77, and was in danger of missing the cut.
Phil Mickelson, in his last chance this year to finally win a
major, found the cup to be even more elusive. He missed two putts
inside 4 feet and was at 3-over par when darkness draped Hazeltine
National Golf Club as he got to his 16th hole.
Thirty-nine players had to return Friday morning to finish their
rounds, with only Greg Norman and Retief Goosen in position to
catch the leaders. Norman was 2 under with three holes to play, and
Goosen was 2 under with four holes left, including a par 5.
Furyk and Funk are neighbors in Florida who have more than a zip
code in common. They shared the lead in the year's final major,
after botching the first three.
''It's been a good year and a frustrating year, all in one,''
said Furyk, who became a father this summer.
For Funk it was worse. He didn't even qualify for the first
''I knew I was going to get in one of them,'' he said with a
Funk certainly made the most of it on what turned out to be a
glorious day in Minnesota. Taking only three putts over his final
four holes, the former Maryland golf coach shot into a share of the
lead, an unfamiliar position for him.
He chipped in for birdie on No. 15, holed putts of 30 and 20
feet on the next two holes, then saved par with about a 10-foot
putt on the last.
Furyk wasn't nearly that dramatic, but he was just as satisfied.
Four of his five birdie putts were inside 10 feet, the exception
coming on No. 6, when he got a good read from Jerry Kelly's putt
and made birdie from 25 feet.
Furyk had a share of the first-round lead in the 1997 British
Open and has reason to believe he can pick up his first major here.
Eleven of the last 14 winners at the PGA had never won a major.
''I would like to put myself in position the next couple of
days, but that history probably isn't going to help me too much,''
Justin Rose of England, suddenly a regular contender in majors,
had a 69 and was joined by Peter Lonard of Australia.
One of the shortest hitters on Tour, Fred Funk didn't seem to have a problem with Hazeltine's distance.
Davis Love III made double bogey on the 16th and still shot 70,
along with Lee Janzen, while Vijay Singh and Minnesota native Tom
Lehman joined Woods in the group at 71.
It was a bizarre beginning to the final major of the year.
Minnesota fans were buzzing by the time Woods, Els and Toms arrived
on the 10th tee. They took up every inch of space down the
fairways, standing 20 rows deep up a slope.
Whack! Whack! Whack!
All three drives found the fairways, and what followed was a
sound that startled Woods -- the siren to halt play because of a
Everyone could see the black clouds behind them -- except for
Woods, whose eyes were focused on the 10th fairway and perhaps the
American Slam. No one has ever won the three U.S. majors in the
He stiffened and looked back when he heard the horn.
''I didn't know what it was for, and David said there was
lightning in the area,'' Woods said. ''I looked back and said,
'Yeah, let's get out of here.'''
After a long wait, the three warmed up quickly.
From a sand-filled divot, Els came up short of the green and
then chipped in from 60 feet. He added a 10-foot birdie on the next
hole, while Woods hit a half-flop from thick rough to 10 inches for
birdie on the par-5 11th and joined Els at 2 under with an 8-foot
birdie on No. 12.
That's as low as either of them got.
Els struggled with club selection in the swirling wind. Woods
struggled with his driver. Yet both are still very much in
That can't be said for Daly, who didn't like the way the 16th
set up for him the first time he saw it. His suspicions were
He hit a 3-wood into the water. Then a 2-iron into the water.
Then a driver that nearly went into another hazard. Followed by a
6-iron into the grandstand. After a free drop, his lob wedge went
over the green and into the water. He chipped over the green. He
almost chipped in. He tapped in for 11.
''I tried on every shot,'' Daly said.
Funk is one of the shortest hitters on tour, a guy known best
for his accuracy. He's been known to pick out the stripes left by
lawn mowers as his target off the tee.
But majors have been another story. His best finish is a tie for
seventh, and he's only been in one other top 10. He recalls one
time being tied for the lead after 22 holes, and another time being
close to the lead on the weekend.
Furyk has had a few good chances already, especially the 1998
Masters and British Open, when he tied for fourth.
He's had some good reasons for playing poorly in the majors this
year: an inner-ear infection before the Masters, the impending
birth of his daughter during the U.S. Open, and being a new father
at the British Open.
Then again, he also won the Memorial with a final-round 65 for
his seventh tour victory.
''When I've played well, I've played very well and put myself in
position,'' he said. ''I've always missed a bunch of cuts. I try to
look at the positive parts.''