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Funk keeps par streak alive

By BOB HARIG, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 3, 2002

MIAMI -- Fred Funk got up and down for par three times on the back nine then birdied the 18th hole. His 71 left him 12 shots out of the lead, but it was significant for another reason. It was his 37th consecutive round at par or better on the PGA Tour.

Funk, 45, a 14-year tour veteran, has not shot over par since the Walt Disney tournament in October.

"I'm very conscious of it. I want to keep it going," said Funk, who is tied for 11th. "It's the longest streak I know I've ever had.

"I'm proud of that streak. It means I'm playing consistent golf and a lot of things are going right."

Tiger Woods has the longest par-or-better streak since the tour began keeping the statistic in 1983. Woods went 52 consecutive rounds in 2000-01.

NEW MARKER: Jesper Parnevik no longer uses a coin to mark his ball on greens, the result of an obscure ruling that cost him a penalty stroke during Thursday's first round.

Parnevik bobbled a ball tossed to him by caddie Lance Ten Broeck, dropping it on his coin and moving it. That violated Rule 20-3 regarding proper replacement of a ball mark. Parnevik called for an official, believing he simply needed to return the mark. Instead, he was hit with a one-stroke penalty.

"I think that's the dumbest rule ever," said Parnevik, who started using a tee to mark his ball, which is legal. He said he will order new ball marks "with pegs that go a foot into the ground."

The same thing happened to Hale Irwin last month on the Senior PGA Tour in Naples, but he still went on to win by one stroke.

DIVOTS: There was no rain Saturday, but Peter Lonard wore rain pants. That's because he split his regular pants on the third hole. "Just marking the ball and being lazy," he said. "I will go on a diet." ... It wasn't the best of days for area players. While Paul Azinger managed to shoot 71 and enters the final round tied for 16th, Clearwater's Greg Kraft shot 74 and New Port Richey's Tim Petrovic and Clearwater's John Huston shot 80. ... David Duval missed the cut Friday, the first time since Pebble Beach in 2001 the British Open champion failed to survive to the weekend of a stroke-play event ... Woods has made 83 consecutive cuts, three short of Hale Irwin (86), who is third all time behind Byron Nelson (113) and Jack Nicklaus (105).

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