the PGA Tour iron man
Fred Funk simply doesn't know how to slow down, not even at the
advanced golf age of 46.
He's the PGA Tour's ironman when it comes to scheduling, a key
component to preparing for the Tour. Funk played 29 tournaments
last year. He also competed five times in Europe and added several
offseason events to his résumé.
If Funk stays healthy, his tentative plan for 2003 is about 30
''I don't think it's that many,'' says Funk, who earned a career-high
$2,383,071 last year. ''I play golf for a living. I don't make a
living sitting at home. I still enjoy playing golf.''
He's averaged 31.5 tournaments a year in his 14 full seasons on
Tour. The average number played by the top 125 in 2002 was 27.
Funk will get off to a fast start by playing seven of the nine
events on the West Coast Swing. He was not eligible for the winners-only
Mercedes Championships, so he'll start at next week's Sony Open
Since Funk's family travels with him, what tournaments offer in
the way of family fun factors into Funk's decisions about playing.
He likes the New Orleans event, even though English Turn Golf and
Country Club doesn't set up particularly well for his game.
''I went last year and had a great time with my family,'' says
Funk of his wife, Sharon, and their children, Eric, 11, Taylor,
7, and Perri, 3.
The same is true of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill. ''I
really enjoy the small-town atmosphere,'' Funk says. ''I try to
find some tournaments that are a little bit different from the norm.''
He'll play in the two new events, the Wachovia Championship in
Charlotte and the Deutsche Bank U.S. Championship in Norton, Mass.
''The top guys average 18-22 events,'' Funk says. ''But they play
more around the world than I do, so it's not a fair measure. I don't
play that much more. I've just been consistent over the years.''
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