- The Washington Times - Monday, June 26, 2006

The late start to the Booz Allen Classic meant an exceptionally long day for course superintendent Dennis Ingram’s staff.

About 50 staff members scurried to get the course in condition to play after the threat of thunderstorms dissipated late yesterday morning. Work began shortly after noon and was not completed at the ends of both nines when players teed off from Nos. 1 and 10 at 1 p.m.

Ingram said the course was in far worse shape in 2003, but conceded there were some problem spots because of the quick turnaround. The bunkers on No. 5 were filled with runoff water from the Avenel development, and extra silt and debris was lodged on the greens on Nos. 4 and 5.

“Since Avenel was built, everything around it has changed, so the flood plane has changed,” Ingram said. “About an inch and a half of rain totally disrupts the bunkers with standing water and a lot of debris.”

The problem was probably most evident when Brett Quigley found his ball slathered with mud after hitting it in a bunker less than 70 yards from the pin at No. 5. After some discussion with a rules official, he shot out and eventually made par.

Extra day free

Tournament officials said gates will open at 7:30 a.m. today, 30 minutes before players are scheduled to resume their final rounds. There will be no admission charge, and all parking will be on site at Avenel.

The Golf Channel will televise the conclusion of the tournament and will come on the air at 8 a.m.

Funk finishes well

Takoma Park native Fred Funk raved about the course throughout the week, but even he was surprised at its condition after all the rain.

“I couldn’t believe it was as good as it was,” said Funk, who finished at 8-under. “I thought these low holes down by the creek would be really underwater and they were fine. It was fantastic.”

Funk struggled with his putting on his way to a 71 in the first round, but went under par the next three days. The 50-year-old closed with a 3-under 68 that could provide a boost as he continues his busy schedule, which includes his debut on the Champions Tour in two weeks at the U.S. Senior Open.

“I left it where it was tough to even make the cut,” Funk said. “I’m pleased, and I’m close to playing really good. I’m going to a really good venue next week [in Hartford].”

Stricker, Quigley stall

Neither Steve Stricker nor Brett Quigley, who were playing with leader Ben Curtis, made a substantial push while playing in the final threesome.

Stricker, who won the event 10 years ago, was steady for the first eight holes. He made up a shot on Curtis as he birdied Nos. 4 and 8 and eagled No. 6, and was the only player chasing Curtis to reach 16-under. However, he bogeyed Nos. 9 and 11 to fall back into a tie for fifth, nine shots out of the lead.

Quigley, who began the day within five shots of Curtis, got off to an inauspicious start, sending his tee shot at No. 1 into the rough next to a tree before punching it out left-handed on his way to a bogey. He birdied No. 3, but salvaged a bogey when he hit it in the water at the next hole before rattling off seven straight pars before play was halted.

Chip-ins

Jose Coceres, who opened with consecutive 64s and played in the final group Saturday, rebounded from a 78 to shoot 67 and finish at 11 under. He is tied for 11th but needs to finish at least 10th to earn a spot in next week’s tournament. … Former European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer withdrew after six holes with a neck injury. Langer was at 6-under entering the day.

Langer birdied his first hole, then added two bogeys before bowing out.

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