AMERICA’S Fred Funk has fought back after three years of injury to win the US Champion Tour’s 2012 Insperity Championship in Texas.
The 55 year old birdied the final hole at The Woodlands Country Club to beat compatriot Tom Lehman by a stroke.
“I wasn’t sure whether I was going to have a career,” Funk said. “I’ve been really blessed with this opportunity to play again, and play at a high level. I didn’t want to give up yet. I love it too much.”
Funk developed a staph infection and had knee replacement surgery in 2009 and had two surgeries on his left thumb late last year.
Funk has a strong connection and obvious affection for the Woodlands course.
With his 16-year-old son Taylor carrying his bag, he birdied four of the last five holes to win on the same course where he won the 1992 Shell Houston Open.
That was the first of his eight victories on the regular PGA TOUR and he met his second wife, Sharon, at a post-tournament event the same year.
Sharon was the first person to run onto the green and hug him Sunday.
“It was a storybook-type week,” Funk said.
Australia’s Peter Senior staged his own mini-fightback on the weekend, improving from his opening 73 to post a 70 and then a final round 68. That was enough for a tournament total of 5-under and a share of 13th place.