Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Fred versus Fred: Couples and Funk Take Opposing Style to Shaw Charity Classic

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Fred versus Fred: Couples and Funk Take Opposing Style to Shaw Charity Classic

Article excerpt

Couple, Funk set for Shaw Charity Classic


CALGARY - A pair of Freds with opposing styles have set their sights on winning the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic.

Fred Couples and Fred Funk have each won eight times on the Champions Tour, but both are searching for their first victories of 2013 at the three-round event that starts Friday at the Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club.

Although they share the same first name, Couples and Funk have vastly different approaches to the game.

While Couples is known for belting long tee shots and being able to reach the green of almost every par 5 in two shots, Funk prides himself hitting the ball in the fairway and playing it safe.

"His talent is just superior," said Funk of Couples. "He just has so much natural ability and hits the ball so well. He just can do things that not many guys can do with a golf ball."

That being said, Funk will do everything in his power to finish ahead of Couples this weekend.

"Absolutely you want to beat him," said Funk, who sits 11th in the Charles Schwab Cup points race, seven spots behind Couples. "You want to trounce him. Everybody wants to be everybody. You want to win. That's what we're out here for."

Other golfers in the top 10 points race competing in Calgary include David Frost (third), Duffy Waldorf (fifth), Michael Allen (seventh), John Cook (eighth), Tom Pernice Jr. (ninth) and Russ Cochran (10th).

Couples ranks second on the Champions Tour in driving distance behind John Huston, while Funk is second in driving accuracy percentage behind Jeff Hart.

"Fred Funk is maybe our best driver of the ball out here," said Couples, who has played on the Champions Tour for four years, while Funk has eight years of experience on the senior PGA circuit. "Once you get past that, you have to putt well and he does that too. There's advantages to everyone's game. If you're going to come here and like the course, Fred would like it because it's very tree lined."

Couples also enjoys tree-lined courses although they don't necessarily benefit his playing style.

"It's a little tight for my game, but also the par 5s, I can reach every one of them if I hit good drives," said Couples, who will serve as captain for the U.S. team during the Presidents Cup in Columbus, Ohio, from Oct. 1 to 6. "That's an advantage for me, just like he might not be in the trees once this week."

Funk can only hope that the tight layout of the 7,117-yard, par-71 course plays to his advantage. …

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