Sluman and Funk win Legends of Golf
RIDGEDALE, Minnesota (AP) — Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk teamed to win the Champions Tour’s Legends of Golf on Sunday, and Jim Colbert and Jim Thorpe topped the Legends Division for players 65 and older.
Sluman and Funk finished with a 6-under 48 at rainy Top of the Rock, the first par-3 course used in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event, to beat Jay Haas and Peter Jacobsen by a stroke.
Sluman holed a 6-foot par putt for the victory on the final hole.
“For some reason I’ve always done well in these team-type events,” Sluman said. “I don’t know what it is.”
The winners finished at 20-under 159. They opened with an 11-under 61 in better-ball play on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course and had a 50 on Saturday on the par-3 layout.
Sluman also won last year, teaming with Brad Faxon in Savannah, Georgia.
“Maybe I’ve got a good eye for partners,” Sluman said.
Funk was quick to return the complement.
“He’s the common denominator,” Funk said.
Sluman won for the sixth time on the Champions Tour, and Funk for the ninth.
Haas and Jacobsen, the second-round leaders, shot 50. Haas missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole of the day.
“I’m disappointed because I hit a beautiful iron in there and it was as easy a putt as you can get, straight up the hill, and I just pulled it a little bit,” Haas said. “We’re mixed emotions right now. We’re very happy to have finished second, but we had an opportunity. You just don’t get that many, so it’s nice to take advantage of them when you do.
Sluman and Funk had a 1-under 26 in the opening alternate-shot nine and closed with a 5-under 22 in the best-ball nine.
“It seemed like they kept hitting it to three feet. The first five or six holes they hit it to three feet and made birdie,” Jacobsen said. “You’re not going to get more clutch than those two guys.”
Craig Stadler and Kirk Triplett closed with a 52 to finish third at 14 under, the Kentucky duo of Russ Cochran and Kenny Perry was 13 under after a 49.
In the nine-hole Legends finale, Colbert and Thorpe had a 4-under 23 in better-ball play for a three-stroke victory over Bruce Fleisher and Larry Nelson. Colbert and Thorpe finished at 11 under for 45 holes.
Colbert won the then-Demaret Division for players 70 and older, teaming with Bob Murphy.
“I couldn’t ask for a better partner because I know he’s a fighter,” Thorpe said. “This guy’s got so much fire, so much fight in him.”
Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were fifth at 5 under.
“I think Gary played reasonably well. I didn’t,” Nicklaus said. “I got worn out yesterday and I didn’t play very well and I played very poorly today. I don’t think we played particularly well in total. We felt like we could both play better than that, but we just didn’t.”
Sluman and Funk each earned $230,000, and Colbert and Thorpe got $60,000 each.
“The tournament was a lot of fun,” Funk said. “It was just a real treat. It turned out to be really fun and a real treat to play this par 3. And it is a little nerve-wracking, like yesterday, with the alternate shot because it just seems to put more pressure on you.”