Golf: Elkington celebrates as Funk falls into trap

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The Independent Online
THE AUSTRALIAN, Steve Elkington, parred the first hole of a sudden- death play-off to beat the former champion, Fred Funk, and win the Buick Challenge in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Elkington ended up two-putting for par at the first play-off hole, the 432-yard 18th, while Funk drove into a trap and his blast hit the lip of the bunker and missed the green.

After chipping six feet past the hole, Funk never attempted his bogey putt and Elkington said: "He gave me an opening in the play-off. I lost one like that in Greensboro [in 1993] but play-offs are a 50-50 deal."

Elkington's victory was his first of the year and the ninth of his career. It was his fourth straight top-10 finish, including a third-place showing at the PGA Championship. Funk admitted: "I played good, but hit two bad drives. I could have won in regulation, but Elkington played a great back nine. It's very disappointing.

"The opportunities were there. A lot of things have to go right to win golf tournaments. I ran into a buzz-saw with Elkington on the back and didn't do my part to get the job done."

Elkington started the day in joint fourth place, but capped a six-under- par 66 with consecutive birdies to catch Funk at 267, 21 under, shattering the tournament record at the same time.

Funk, the 1995 champion, carded a three-under 69 to register his worst round of the week, while Bill Glasson fell one stroke short of joining the play-off, 20 under at 268.