SUGAR GROVE, Ill. (Aug. 6, 2015) … PGA TOUR veteran Fred Funk won’t be able to come to Rich Harvest Farms today to watch his son, Taylor, try to qualify for this year’s Sweet 16 match play segment of the Western Amateur in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
Fred will be busy playing at the Champions Tour’s Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary.
“Hopefully, he can get a win and I can get a win, and have a Funk duo there,” Taylor said Wednesday after shooting a 5-under 67, which put him at 9-under par, two shots behind leader Dawson Armstrong.
“I shot 5-under but it could have easily been 8 or 9 or even 10,”said the 19-year-old sophomore at Texas and winner of this summer’s Southern Amateur. “It could have been really low.”
No matter his PGA TOUR pedigree, Funk will have his work cut out for him.
First-round co-leader Armstong shot a 6-under par 66, bettering his previous day’s course-record-tying score by one shot to stay atop of the leaderboard at 11-under. The winner of the 2015 Dogwood Invitational is two shots ahead of both Funk and University of Illinois senior Charlie Danielson, who stand at 9-under. Danielson shot a 7-under 65 on Wednesday.
“What I like best about this course is that is gets my mind off playing golf, and gets me thinking about just how beautiful it is out here,” said Armstrong, a sophomore at Lipscomb University in Nashville. “Have fun. Period. That’s my main thing. My main goal is just to take it all in, keep having fun and keep playing smart golf.”
The 45 players who made the 36-hole cut at even par will play 36 holes today to determine the Sweet 16. Among them are top-10-ranked players such as 2013 champion Jordan Niebrugge, in fourth place at 7-under; Robby Shelton, T-7 at 5-under, and NCAA Division I individual champion Bryson DeChambeau, T-17 at 2-under after rallying with a 68.
Danielson is hoping that he and his good friend Niebrugge both can qualify for the Sweet 16 on Thursday. Danielson failed to qualify in 2013 and watched as Niebrugge went on to win. Last year, Danielson got in, but Niebrugge didn’t, and Niebrugge caddied for Danielson in match play.
“Hopefully, we both shoot two good scores (on Thursday), make the Sweet 16 and meet each other in the finals.”