The Woodlands, TX – After a quiet first 13 holes, Fred Funk birdied four of the last five holes, including the 18th, to beat Tom Lehman by one shot on Sunday at the Insperity Championship.
Funk fired a five-under 67 to end at 14-under-par 202. This was his seventh Champions Tour title, but first since winning the 2010 JELD-WEN Tradition.
"I don't like playing and losing. I don't like playing with these guys and not being in the mix," Funk said. "So my goal is to get back in the mix and I felt it coming the last five or six weeks and it's starting to get better and better. Even if I didn't win today, I knew I was working on the right stuff and I was really looking forward to the rest of the season from here."
Since Funk's last win, he's had a tough battle with his health. He had his knee drained 18 times and had a staph infection in the same knee before having it replaced. He also had two surgeries on his thumb after injuring it last year.
Lehman parred the final four holes to close out a round of four-under 68 and end one back at minus-13 at The Woodlands Country Club.
Mike Goodes managed a two-under 70 to take third at 10-under-par 206.
Funk rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on the first to move ahead of Lehman, but Funk parred the next 12 holes.
Lehman birdied the third, then moved out in front with a birdie on the par- five sixth. After three straight pars, he stumbled to a bogey on the 10th.
The 53-year-old Lehman, who won three times last year on the Champions Tour, birdied the 12th from eight feet out and 13th to move two clear of his playing partner.
Funk matched Lehman's birdie on the 14th to stay two back, but that got Funk going. He also birdied the 15th from five feet out and 16th from just inside eight feet to join Lehman atop the leaderboard at minus-13.
After a par on 17, Funk closed with a tap-in birdie at the last to win by one. Funk's approach stopped a foot from the hole, but was only good enough for the win when Lehman's birdie putt narrowly stayed above ground.
Lehman was denied his sixth Champions Tour win. This was his fourth top-10 in the last four years at this event.
"I was really proud of the way I played. I hit one bad shot, I hit a bad shot on the first hole, a wedge, after I hit a tee shot into a divot," Lehman said. "Other than that, I hit just good shot after good shot after good shot, and really felt in control of my game and rolled the ball pretty nicely.
"I have to be honest with you, I haven't been this disappointed after a tournament in a long time. I'm equally happy for Fred and proud of the way he played and the way he finished, and equally disappointed for myself for just feeling like I played well and didn't get the W."
NOTES: Funk earned $255,000 for the victory...For the fifth time in nine years, the winner of this event was one of the 36-hole leaders...It also marked the 17th straight Champions Tour event the winner has come from the final group...After a two-week break, the Champions Tour returns with its first major of the season, as Tom Watson defends his title at the Senior PGA Championship.