Funk, Pate on top in North Carolina

Fred Funk and Steve Pate both carded 3-under 69s on Saturday to move into a share of the lead after two rounds of the SAS Championship.

Funk and Pate completed 36 holes at 8-under-par 136. Funk will go for his eighth Champions Tour win on Sunday, while Pate is searching for his first tour title.

Jay Don Blake and Andrew Magee both shot 70 on Saturday and are tied for third at minus-7.

Mark O'Meara (69), 2007 champion Mark Wiebe (69), Larry Nelson (66) and Mark McNulty (68) share fifth place at 6-under-par 138 at Prestonwood Country Club.

First-round leader Russ Cochran was done in by a double-bogey on the 16th. The 2010 champion tripped to a 1-over 73 to slide into a tie for ninth at minus-5.

Funk and Pate did most of their scoring on the back nine Saturday. Funk stumbled to a bogey on the fourth, while Pate birdied the opening hole. They both parred the other eight holes on the front side.

After his bogey on the fourth, Funk ran off seven straight pars. He got back to even-par for his round with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 12th.

Funk converted a 5-footer for birdie at 14, then got to 7-under with a tap-in birdie on the 16th. His approach at the last stopped within inches of the hole. Funk tapped in for birdie and a share of the lead.

"Well, it wasn't a very easy round. I was really struggling with my whole game and managed to shoot 1-over on the front and got up and down on 11. Then I finally made a putt and first birdie on 12," said Funk.

"I was really struggling with my driver, I couldn't get any pop on it, and then on 18, I finally just caught one exactly the way I wanted to and got it way out there."

Pate rolled in a 3-foot birdie putt on the 10th, but gave that shot right back as he failed to save par from a greenside bunker at No. 11.

The 51-year-old 2-putted for birdie on the par-5 12th. After four straight pars, Pate found the green in two at the par-5 17th. He 2-putted for birdie from just over 25 feet to get to minus-8. He parred the last to end there.

"A little different than yesterday. Yesterday was really easy, I hit everything on line," Pate said. "Today, I hit nothing on line, there was nothing easy about it, but I only made one bogey, so that was good."

NOTES: Funk earned his seventh tour title earlier this year at the Insperity Championship, while Pate's best tour finish was a share of eighth, which he did last year at the Senior PGA and earlier this year at the Toshiba Classic ... Defending champion Kenny Perry (71) is tied for ninth with Cochran and four others ... Larry Nelson fired a 66 to miss shooting his age by one shot.