Favorites Fire At Dick's Open Title

By wbng sports

June 23, 2011 Updated Jun 23, 2011 at 11:49 PM EDT

Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton)

Last year Loren Roberts played En-Joie for the first time since 1995 ...And ended up winning.
So what's stopping the tour's hottest player from keeping that trend alive.

Tom Lehman is back in Endicott for the first time since 1999.
Today he was on the course in the afternoon pro am.
He is #1 in the points list and the money list and feeling good about his game heading into tomorrow's opening round at a course he's struggled at in the past.

"It seems like there was always, I was coming here preparing for, getting ready for the Ryder Cup or getting ready for something else. In 1999, when I played here, the least of my concerns was my finish here, which is unfair to the tournament back then. But I was so focused on the Ryder Cup the next week that it was simply a tune-up."

Lehman joked the key now is taking it one round at a time because you never know when your back might seize up and take you off the leaderboard.

Another tour veteran is looking to break through with a win at En-Joie.
Nick Price finished tied for 3rd at last year's Dick's Sporting Goods open.
He's finished in the top 10 every time he's played on tour this season, and finished in the top 5 five times.

"This year I've been very consistent tee to green, games been solid. My putting has been very consistent. Just for some reason, I just can't quite put my finger on it. I haven't won as many times as I'd like to have. I think the way I've played, I've probably should have won at least twice or three times so that's been a little frustrating."

Price added that his game has struggled at time in the past few years but feels good right now.

You want another favorite to contend this week.
Well the easy answer is Fred Funk.

He has been the runner up each of the past two seasons at the Dick's Sporting Goods open.
Before that he was always a contender at the BC Open on the regular tour, even winning the trophy back in 1996.
Funk says it's easy to see why he's good here.
The hardest part about the course happens to be the thing he does best.

" It's one of our best golf courses where we play. It's one where it's very demanding off the tee. It's going to reward the guy for whoever can keep the ball and play off the tee because then you can attack the golf course. But when you get out of position with all these trees it will cause some havoc with your swing, that's for sure. But I've had a really good history here, both, on the Champions tour and on the regular tour and I really like it here a lot."
Funk is another player that has his son caddy for him.
The two were also on the course together last week at the US Open in Fred's hometown of Bethesda Maryland.

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