CONOVER Fred Funk figured someone would make a run at his lead in the Greater Hickory Classic.
Funk was right, but he came up with a big shot Sunday to win Rock Barn Golf and Spa’s 10th annual PGA Champions Tour event.
Funk drained a two-foot putt for a birdie on No. 18 to edge Duffy Waldorf by one stroke for his second victory this season.
Funk, 56, shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday and finished the tournament at 15-under 201 for his eighth career win on the tour.
“I really wanted to win here really bad,” said Funk, who won $240,000. “I’ve been knocking at the door on this tournament a lot ... but I was feeling the heat. When you get in contention, you always want to finish it.”
Funk looked to be well on his way to his first win at Rock Barn after posting bogey-free 66s, with 10 birdies and an eagle in the first two rounds. However, finding birdies was a problem Sunday.
Funk’s first birdie Sunday didn’t come until No. 12, and he had to hit his second shot out of a fairway divot to set that up. He added a second birdie on No. 14.
Those allowed Funk to stay atop the leaderboard, but it also opened the door for Waldorf, who began the day at 8 under but made six birdies to climb into contention.
“I had two great days of putting, and that made the difference,” said Waldorf, who was playing in just his fourth Champions Tour event. “I would’ve liked to have hit the ball closer a few more times because I was rolling in the putts.”
Waldorf had a chance to take the lead or force a playoff, but missed a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18. Funk then put his second shot within 40 yards of the pin, setting up his winning birdie putt.
“I assumed Duffy was going to birdie No. 18,” Funk said. “When I saw that I needed a birdie to win, I played real aggressive with my tee shot. I just smoked a 3-wood, and hit a great chip. Still, I was pretty nervous about that putt.”
Mark Wiebe, who won last year’s tournament in a three-hole playoff, finished third at 10 under. Five others – Chip Beck, Jay Don Blake, John Cook, first-round leader Dan Forsman and Peter Senior – tied at 9 under.