Fred Funk shot a 67 Friday to increase his lead to three strokes after the second round of the $1.5 million Buick Challenge.
Funk, who nearly withdrew with a sore back before Thursday's opening round, held off the challenge of rookie of the year candidate Steve Flesch, veteran D.A. Weibring and leading money-winner David Duval with a 14-under-par 130.The 42-year-old Funk, in his 10th full year on the tour and a co-leader with Jim Carter after the first day, made two birdies on his final three holes Friday to give him some breathing room in bidding for the $270,000 first prize.
Funk would be a lock with a win here for a spot in The Tour Championship - only the top 30 on the money list qualify - later this month in Atlanta. That event has a whopping first prize of $720,000 and a minimum paycheck of $64,000. He is currently No. 30 on the money list with $825,458.
Flesch, who shot a 66, was three shots back at 133, tied with Weib-ring, who had a 65.
Another stroke back was Duval, who had a 68-134 over the par-72, 7,057-yard Mountain View course at the Callaway Gardens resort. Carter, who had a 71, and Bill Glasson, who had a 65, were also tied with Duval, who has won three tournaments and $2,070,283 so far this year.
VANTAGE SENIORS: At Clemmons, N.C., there are 99 sand traps at Tanglewood Park's championship course. If you ask Brian Barnes, he was in every one of them Friday in the first round of the $1.5 million Vantage Champ-ion-ship.
But the 53-year-old golfer from England overcame a miserable driving day with good bunker play and a hot putter to share the opening-day lead with Bud Allin and Ray Floyd at 6-under-par 64 in the Senior PGA Tour's fourth-richest event.
The trio leads three other golfers by a stroke, including last week's winner, Larry Nelson. Six others are another shot back at 66.
Allin's 64 was his lowest round of the year, while Floyd hasn't won on tour since July 1996. Floyd also hasn't played since late August, taking an extended vacation for the first time in his illustrious career.
BELGACOM OPEN: At Knokke, Belgium, Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden followed up his opening round 65 with a 67 on Friday and moved into a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the Belgacom Open.
Jacobson is battling to keep his European PGA Tour card.
Greg Owen broke the course record with a 9-under-par 62, collecting nine birdies, but he still was four strokes behind Jacobson.
Owen needed just 25 putts to smash the old record by two strokes on the Royal Zoute course in this North Sea resort.