Funk scrambles into US Senior Open lead

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Fred Funk shot a 4-under 68 at the U.S. Senior Open to take a one-stroke lead over Greg Norman and Joey Sindelar after Saturday's third round.

Updated: August 02, 2009 07:20 IST
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CARMEL, Indiana:

Fred Funk shot a 4-under 68 at the U.S. Senior Open to take a one-stroke lead over Greg Norman and Joey Sindelar after Saturday's third round.

Funk is at 13 under heading into Sunday's final round at Crooked Stick. Norman also had a 68, while Sindelar scrambled to finish with a 70. Amateur Tim Jackson, the overnight leader, shot a 73 and is three shots behind at 10 under.

Funk pumped his fist, raised his arms, kicked his leg and smiled throughout the third round, showing no signs of the painful knee and shoulder injuries that have hindered him much of this season. And he gave no indication on Saturday that he's about to let the injuries derail another quest for a major title.

"One thing I can't do is take a practice swing," he said. "As long as I turn the whole way, it takes the stress off the shoulder. So I don't hit too many punch shots any more. That shot is basically out of my game."

Russ Cochran set a course record with a 64 after entering the day at even par.

Funk, Norman, Sindelar and Jackson all held the lead at some point on Saturday.

Funk was at 13 under after making a birdie on No. 13. After a bogey on the 14th, he made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 465-yard, par-4 16th and took the lead when Norman bogeyed the hole to drop to 12 under. Funk then made par on 17 and 18 to hold on.

"I'm just trying to, really, to enjoy it, really let myself go," he said. "I was really disappointed on last Sunday when I missed a couple of putts. I don't want to play defensive, so you've got to go out there and play your game."

Norman entered the day three shots off the lead. He got off to an ordinary start before getting birdies on Nos. 5, 8, 11 to inch his way up the leaderboard. He got an eagle on the 15th hole to take the lead at 13 under.

"I'm driving the ball long and straight, and Freddy made the comment that I'm driving the ball like I used to do it," said Norman, who will be paired with Funk again on Sunday. "It's a good feeling when you get up on any tee and hit it the way you feel you can hit it."

Jackson stumbled for the first time at the tournament. His score of 133 over the first two days matched the tourney's best 36-hole mark.

Sindelar, who started the day one shot behind Jackson, was at 13 under after No. 13, but had a bogey on the 14th and managed par on the remaining holes.

Cochran was surprised to set the course record. The 50-year-old hadn't placed higher than 19th in his past five Senior events. He had nine birdies in what he called one of his best days as a golfer. On two occasions, he birdied three consecutive holes.

The previous course record was set on Thursday, when Norman, Sindelar, Jackson and Dan Forsman all shot 6-under 66.

Tom Watson, the runner-up at the British Open, shot a 3-over 75 and had a share of 41st at 2 over.

Last year's winner, Eduardo Romero, shot a 70 to move up to 3 under.

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