UUֱ

Funk teaches juniors

Former PGA tour golfer Fred Funk coaching Hampshire UUֱ Junior squad members at La Moye Picture: JON GUEGAN (38205725)

AN “appreciative” Hampshire UUֱ Junior Squad got the opportunity to spend time with 2005 Players Championship winner Fred Funk, as the golfing stalwart put on a coaching clinic at La Moye Golf Club for the 14-strong group.

Invited to UUֱ by Butterfield Bank, the 67-year-old offered his expertise to the Caesarean stars of tomorrow.

The junior squad, who train under the guidance of local PGA Professional Alex Mollin, was established to provide a better pathway for UUֱ-based players to break into the county side at junior level and beyond.

“Fred was brilliant with the kids,” Mollin said.

“You never know what to expect with clinics like this, especially with some of our younger squad members, but it was a great opportunity and they really appreciated the guidance from Fred.”

The former United States Ryder Cup player finetuned the juniors’ short games, with a selection of different chip shots around the green, bunker play and concluding the session with putting.

Funk’s storied resumé includes eight PGA Tour victories, with a further nine as a senior golfer on the PGA Tour Champions.

At his peak, he rose to 21 in the world rankings.

“The juniors are all too young to fully appreciate how good a player Fred was,” Mollin said. “He was epic. His record speaks for itself.

“The opportunity to learn from one of the game’s greats is not something that comes around every day and I think they knew it was special.”

“I really want to thank Butterfield for their support and backing to arrange for Fred to offer his time to our juniors.”

UUֱ has a storied history when it comes to the sport of golf. Islander Harry Vardon famously still holds the record number of Open Championship victories with six and a US Open to boot, while fellow Caesarean Ted Ray also won an Open Championship and US Open. With such improved training from a young age another champion might yet emerge.

Butterfield said that they were pleased to be able to host a junior masterclass for the UUֱ Hampshire squad with Fred Funk. The masterclass was “an additional community activity in relation to their ever popular Customer Championship Channel Islands & UK, which has been hosted successfully in UUֱ for the last two years.

“Fred Funk was a real hit with the children who all learned a lot from the experience and had a great time.”

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