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Fred Funk joins the Skins Game

Fred Funk already has enjoyed a dream career, considering where he started and what he's got.

He spent six years as the golf coach at Maryland, and for a guy who feels like Herbie on a road full of Corvettes, his short-but-straight tee ball has brought him seven PGA Tour victories, more than $17 million in earnings, two trips to the Presidents Cup and one to the Ryder Cup.

The latest example of his success: Funk is going to the Skins Game.

``They called and told me I was in the Skins Game and I said, 'Which Skins Game? The one over Thanksgiving?''' Funk, 49, said last week at the Presidents Cup. ``I said, 'How the hell did I qualify for that?'''

He got in by winning The Players Championship, making him the oldest winner in its 32-year history.

The foursome for the Merrill Lynch Skins Game, to be played Nov. 26-27 at Trilogy Golf Club in La Quinta, Calif., will be rounded out by some usual suspects -- defending champion Fred Couples, Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam, who will be playing for the third straight year.

Funk, who ranked 192nd in driving distance last year, now faces some big pressure for the silly season. Along with trying to win skins, his big concern is not being the shortest hitter in the group.

``Tiger came up to me the other day and said Annika is the fourth,'' Funk said. ``He said, 'If she outdrives you once, you will never, ever, ever hear the end of it.'''


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