Proving that he's one of the best sports around, Fred Funk wore a pink flowered skirt for the third hole of the Skins Game yesterday in La Quinta, Calif., his penalty for being outdriven by Annika Sorenstam.
Funk then ended one of the silliest front nines ever by sinking a 25-foot eagle putt from the fringe to win $225,000 and six skins.
"It was beyond expectations," said the 49-year-old Funk, who was making his Skins Game debut. "I was a nervous wreck on one, then I had to pull the skirt out on three, and that was a lot of fun. It was just an unbelievable front nine."
Tiger Woods was the only other member of the foursome, which included Fred Couples, to cash in during the first nine holes at Trilogy Golf Course, winning three skins and $75,000 on No. 3, the hole that had everyone laughing.
"I know he had the skirt on, but I don't know if he had a thong on underneath there," Woods said.
Woods ignited a battle of the sexes by telling Funk that he'd never hear the end of it if Sorenstam outdrove him even once during the Skins Game.
Funk, known for his short but straight tee shots, told Sorenstam a few weeks ago that he'd wear the skirt for an entire hole if she outdrove him.
Sorenstam outdrove Funk by seven yards on the par-5 No. 3. Sorenstam's ball had sailed 278 yards off the tee and Funk's 271.
Sorenstam pulled the skirt out of her bag and the easygoing Funk gamely pulled it on over his pants.
"It's Funky's idea," Sorenstam said. "It was just a matter of when. I was hoping it would be sooner rather than later. It was kind of heavy for my caddie to carry."
"It was a big skirt," Funk said.
The final nine holes of the made-for-TV tournament will be played today, with $700,000 up for grabs. . . .
Australia's Robert Allenby increased his lead to five strokes in the Australian Open in Fingal despite a painful right hand injury that might force him to withdraw from the tournament. Australia's Paul Sheehan (72) was second at 4 under.
* GYMNASTICS: Nastia Liukin and Chellsie Memmel did it again.
A day after becoming the first American women to win the gold and silver medals in the all-around competition at the world gymnastics championships, Liukin and Memmel took the top two places on the uneven bars during yesterday's event finals in Melbourne, Australia.
But Liukin got the gold this time.
"I feel great. I'm just so excited," said Liukin, who missed out on the all-around title by just 1/1000th of a point. Her graceful acrobatics in the uneven bars final earned her a 9.662 out of 10, just ahead of Memmel's 9.587.
Fellow American Alicia Sacramone won bronze on the women's vault with an average score of 9.412.
* SOCCER: Chelsea won again in the Premier League, beating Portsmouth, 2-0, for an 11-point edge over second-place Arsenal.
Hernan Crespo put the Blues ahead in the 27th minute at Fratton Park, with midfielder Frank Lampard adding the second goal on a 67th-minute penalty shot.
It was Lampard's 160th consecutive league game, breaking a Premier League record. The old record was 159 by Manchester City goalkeeper David James.
Arsenal moved into second place with a 3-0 victory at Highbury behind goals from Francesc Fabregas, Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie.
The victory was Arsenal's 13th straight at home in the league.
Arsenal has 26 points in 13 games. Chelsea has 37 points in 14 games.
All games in Britain had a minute of silence before kickoff to honor George Best, the former Manchester United star who died Friday at age 59.
* BOXING: Undefeated Ricky Hatton stopped Colombia's Carlo Maussa with a left hook in the ninth round to add the WBA junior welterweight title to his IBF crown in a unification bout in Sheffield, England.
-- From News Services