Bartman, Funk win 2013 SCGA Four-Ball Championship
It took seven years, but David Bartman and Robert Funk are back on top as champions of the SCGA Four-Ball Championship.
"It feels really good to win it again," said Bartman. "It's always great to win an SCGA Championship."
After winning the title in 2006 at Oakmont CC, Bartman and Funk secured a wire-to-wire win at the 2013 playing of the event, held at Mission Viejo CC. A first-round score of 64, which tied the two-day event's lowest round, propelled the duo to the top of the leaderboard midway through the championship, before a second-round 3-under par 68 sealed the deal. Bartman and Funk were able to finish one stroke ahead of Jeffrey Fortson and Rob Foster of Palm Desert, whose second-round 64 almost pulled off the incredible come-from-behind win, Peter Roberts and Joe Ryon, and Ron Kilmer and Nick Vallejo, who all finished in a tie for second with a two-day total of 9-under par 133.
The eventual champions turned in a spectacular round Monday, finishing with eight birdies and just one lone bogey. The 7-under par 64 gave them a two-stroke lead after Round 1, which saw 2013 SCGA Mid-Amateur Champion Robert Funk, fresh off of Champions Tour Q-School's First Stage, continue his streak of impressive golf. The duos five birdies and two bogeys Tuesday was good enough to pull off the victory.
"We started off Round 2 really well, with a birdie on the first hole, but then around the fifth hole really struggled for awhile," said Bartman. "We made the turn at even par, and figured we'd need to go 4-under to get the win."
Turns out the pair was pretty close with their prediction, as a back-nine score of 3-under par secured the win.
Defending champions Mark Manwaring and Cass Traub finished in a tie for 14th, eight strokes off the lead.
This event is open to two-person teams, with each player having a handicap index of 5.4 and below. Teams compete over 18 holes of qualifying four-ball stroke play to determine the 52 teams which advance to the championship. The Championship is conducted over 36 holes of four-ball stroke play. The seven years in between wins for Bartman and Funk was the longest gap in victories in the event's 23-year history. With the win, Bartman and Funk earn a ten-year exemption into the championship.
"You do know this means I'm exempt into this event until I'm 60 years old," said Funk afterwards with a smile.