Fred Funk nearly had the weekend off after a poor first round and a slow start to the second at the Booz Allen Classic. Funk flirted with missing the cut before coming back strong to move up the leader board and into better position for Presidents Cup points.
Funk, the former University of Maryland golf coach who turns 49 on Tuesday, started the day tied for 54th place then shot a 4-under-par 67 in the third round to leap into a tie for 30th place. His 73-68-67 -- 208 puts him five shots off the lead. Funk tees off at 11:35 a.m. with Bob Estes in today's final round at Congressional Country Club.
"I was just really happy I made the cut and hung in there [Friday] and then played pretty solid today," Funk said. "I'm just trying to do everything I can to get some money for the Presidents Cup so I can lock myself in."
A 2003 member of the Presidents Cup team, Funk ranks seventh in the Presidents Cup standings with $6,649,491. The top 10 U.S. players on the list will play for the U.S. in the event, which will be held Sept. 19-25 at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville.
Funk helped his cause by winning the Players Championship in March and recording three top 10 finishes this year, including third at the St. Jude Classic two weeks ago. He is sixth on the PGA Tour money list with $2,272,880 in earnings.
Yesterday, an early bogey set him back before he closed out his front nine by birdieing three of his last four holes. Funk birdied Nos. 12 and 13 and parred his final five holes.
"It was okay for a Saturday," he said. "I made some really beautiful putts on 12 and 13, then I had some more chances but I didn't make them coming in. I'm really pleased. It was a good, solid round."
Count Funk as one of Congressional's bigger fans. When asked if it was good preparation for next week's U.S. Open, Funk raved about the course.
"This is a great golf course," he said. "This is a lot better golf course than Pinehurst. I just like this one. This is one of the best golf courses in the country. It's underrated, and those other ones are a little overrated I think."
Joey Snyder III, whose birdie on his final hole Friday moved the cut line and bumped 12 guys out of the field, appeared on track for a special round after his first nine holes. Snyder made an eagle on No. 6 then birdied his next three holes to shoot a 5-under 31 before the turn.
Then it all came undone for Snyder, a Q-school qualifier in his first year on the PGA Tour. On the par-4, 454-yard No. 13, Snyder started well enough with his drive landing in the fairway. He thought he hit a perfect 7-iron on his second shot, but his ball came up short of the green and rolled back onto a sprinkler head.
When Snyder took his drop, the ball trickled even farther away from the green. His chip nicked the edge of the cup before rolling three feet past the pin. Had it dropped, it would have been a birdie. Instead, Snyder misread his first putt and sent his ball six feet beyond the hole. His second putt rolled six inches past for a three-putt double bogey. Snyder shot a 67 and is tied for 30th place at 208.
"That one hiccup was a big bummer because I played very well all day," Snyder said. "I even hit good shots on that hole. It's just I hit two bad putts."
Adam Scott had the longest drive of the day. Scott hit his tee shot 362 yards on the 466-yard par-4 17th. He went on to par the hole.
It wasn't the longest drive of the tournament, however. That honor belongs to Brenden Pappas, a Monday qualifier, who drove his tee shot 376 yards on the par-4 489-yard 10th on Friday. Dirk Schultz, a local PGA professional at Black Rock Golf Course, had the fourth-longest drive of the tournament. He hit a ball 359 yards on the 407-yard par-4 fifth in the first round.