He was the first African-American professional to play in the PGA Tour since 1931. He had 27 career victories, 15 of them after 1960. He was a seven-time champion at the U.S. Open. He’s now part of the PGA Hall of Fame.
Greg Norman celebrates his first major win – the 1988 PGA Championship – at Laconia Airport, New Hampshire, Monday, July 22, 1989. Also pictured are players Jim Furyk (top left), Tom Kite (top right), and Tom Watson (bottom right) Getty Images Enlarge
There are plenty of guys whose names pop up as they look back on their career, and there are lots of names floating around these days, but here’s one that probably won’t.
If you ask most golfing historians, the guy in the small picture above belongs to them – Fred Funk, who was the second African-American professional to play in the PGA Tour. He made his official debut in 1977 and won the Champion Tour Championship a year later, but was nowhere near the elite.
Despite the tour’s inclusion of players of color, there were a number of top pros who did not belong in that elite, and sometimes they didn’t make it at all.
Funk did not go to college, and is only the 10th of 11 African-American pros to make it through college before they made it through the tour.
The Post photo, above, came about through an uncommon partnership between a Philadelphia area paper and a PGA-controlled website, the handicappedlinks.com.
Funk died of lung cancer in 2009 at age 62.