Friday's golf: 66-year-old Fred Funk shoots 65 in The Ally Challenge

Associated Press

Grand Blanc — Fred Funk bettered his age by a stroke with a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' The Ally Challenge.

The 66-year-old Funk closed his bogey-free round with a birdie on the par-4 ninth at Warwick Hills, the site of the Buick Open on the PGA Tour from 1958 through 2009.

Fred Funk shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' The Ally Challenge.

“It’s the first time I shot my age or broke my age in competition, so that was really cool,” Funk said. “I’ve done it a couple times for fun, but I always wanted to do one out here. It feels good to finally break that one.”

Funk won the last of his nine senior victories in 2014, teaming with Jeff Sluman in the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf. His last individual victory was in 2012. He also won eight times on the PGA Tour.

“It was kind of a magical day,” Funk said. “Pretty amazing because I haven’t had a round in the 60s I can’t even remember when. It’s been a long time. I’ve been playing a little better recently.”

Woody Austin, the 1995 Buick Open winner, was a stroke back at 66 with Brett Quigley and Stephen Ames. Scott Parel followed at 67.

“Best putting round in many a year, that’s the difference,” the 58-year-old Austin said. “That’s the first round this year where I shot a score that I probably didn’t play to or deserve. I’ve been playing well and scoring the highest I could possibly score every day and today’s the first time I’ve made enough putts and whatever to feel like I got away with something.”

Padraig Harrington, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open winner Sunday in upstate New York, topped the large group at 68 with Ernie Els and Charles Schwab Cup leader Steven Alker. Defending champion Joe Durant shot 69.

PGA

Atlanta — Masters champion Scottie Scheffler is playing every bit like the No. 1 player in golf and was on the verge of turning the Tour Championship into a rout.

Three holes by Xander Schauffele changed everything going into the weekend at East Lake.

Schauffele holed a pair of birdie putts, and then drilled a 4-iron just over the bunker and right by the hole on the par-5 18th, rolling in a 5-foot eagle putt.

The birdie-birdie-eagle finish — Scheffler had to settle for pars — gave Schauffele a 7-under 63 as he went from a six-shot deficit to two shots behind Friday.

Scottie Scheffler, left, speaks with Xander Schauffele after thier round on the 18th green during the second round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, in Atlanta.

Scheffler, who had a 66, was at 19-under par.

He started at 10-under par as the No. 1 seed in the FedEx Cup — Schauffele started four shots behind as the No. 4 seed — and had few complaints except for not making every birdie chance, and they were ample.

Starting the day with a five-shot lead, Scheffler made birdies from 5 feet on the par-3 second hole and then pounded driver on the next hole so perfectly positioned that he had a flip wedge into 5 feet for another birdie. At that point, he was ahead by eight shots.

Jon Rahm also had a 63 and worked his way closer to the top at 13 under. He was being interviewed when he looked up at a TV screen to see if Scheffler had made another birdie.

He still was six shots behind. Defending champion Patrick Cantlay (66) and Sungjae Im (65) were seven shots back.

At stake is the $18 million bonus and a chance to end the year with four PGA Tour titles. Scheffler wants to end the best year in golf with a fitting crown. Seven months ago, he still was looking for his first PGA Tour title.

The best score of the soft, sunny days belonged to Max Homa, who had a 62 and still was 10 shots behind.

LGPA

Ottawa, Ontario — Narin An shot a 6-under 65 on Friday to top the leaderboard Friday in the suspended second round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open.

An had her second straight bogey-free round at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club after opening with a 64 on Thursday. An LPGA Tour rookie after winning twice in South Korea, the 26-year-old An had a 13-under 129 total.

Minutes before darkness forced the suspension of play in the round delayed for two hours in the morning because of heavy rain and lightning, Nelly Korda closed with a birdie on the par-5 ninth for a 63 and a tie for second.

The third-ranked Korda was 11 under with Hye-Jin Choi of South Korea and first-round leader Paula Reto of South Africa. Choi had two eagles in a 68, and Reto followed her course-record 62 with a 69.

Lizette Salas was 10 under after a 64, birdieing the par-5 18th just before play was stopped. Danielle Kang (66), Nasa Hataoka (67) and Sarah Schmelzel (64) were 9 under.

Maddie Szeryk was the top Canadian, shooting a 68 to get to 7 under. She’s bogey-free for the first two rounds.

Canadian star Brooke Henderson, the 2018 winner at Wascana in Regina, Saskatchewan, was 5 under after a 68.

Three-time tournament champion Lydia Ko also was 5 under after a 68, playing alongside Henderson and Jennifer Kupcho. Kupcho was 7 under after a 68.

Lexi Thompson shot a 68 to get to 4 under.

Top-ranked Jin Young Ko, the winner at Magna outside Toronto in 2019 when the event was last played, missed the cut with rounds of 68 and 73.

Lorie Kane, the 57-year-old Canadian making her final appearance in the event, was a distant last at 28 over after rounds of 84 and 86.

Europe

Thriston Lawrence and Alejandro Cañizares stayed in a share of the lead at 13 under on a weather-affected day at the European Masters where neither could complete their second round in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Lawrence and Cañizares were both shooting 5 under for the day after 14 and 13 holes, respectively, when play ended around 8 p.m. local time in darkness in the Swiss Alps. Neither started their round when play was suspended soon after 1 p.m. for about three hours due to approaching electric storms.

The second round was due to resume on Saturday at 7:40 a.m. with some players still having nine holes to complete.

Back-to-back rounds of 65 left Nacho Elvira and Marcel Siem as clubhouse leaders on 10-under 130.

Three players were a shot further back on 9 under. Scott Jamieson (67) and Richard Mansell (64) completed their rounds while Louis De Jager was 3 under for the day with six holes left to play.