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  Sunday, 18 August, 2002, 06:28 GMT 07:28 UK
Outsiders go for glory
Rich Beem gave up the game in 1995 to sell car stereos
Beem gave up the game in 1995 to sell car stereos
Rich Beem and Fred Funk are relishing the prospect of upsetting the odds by winning the USPGA Championship at Hazeltine on Sunday.

The little-known Americans came into the tournament as rank outsiders but have lasted the distance to give themselves a serious chance of victory.

Former car stereo salesman Beem will be looking to make up a three-shot deficit when he tees off in the final group with leader Justin Leonard.


I'm not surprised I'm playing well - I know I'm good
Rich Beem

And veteran Funk, who trails Leonard by four strokes, will partner world number one Tiger Woods.

The 46-year-old has not won a title for six years, and his share of ninth in this event two years ago was his only top-15 showing in 36 major starts.

"I'm just trying to have a really good time and enjoy the moment, however long this moment lasts," said Funk.

"If it lasts to the end of Sunday, that's great. I want to relish the fact I was in the lead of the PGA. I'm having fun.

"I'm not going to go out there and say, yeah, I'm going to win this thing.

"But I'm going to try my best. I'm not going to back down. I can sneak in one on this kind of golf course if all the stars line up and everything."

Fred Funk celebrates a successful putt during his third round
Funk has not won a title for six years
Beem, 31, is playing in just his fourth Major.

"I didn't come into this tournament expecting anything," he said. "I'm just as surprised as anyone that I'm sitting here.

"I'm not surprised I'm playing well. I know I'm good. I've got some game.

"At the same time this is a major championship."

Beem quit golf in 1995 to sell telephones and car stereos in Seattle but does not regret his decision to return to the game.

"I just really thought I wanted to become an every-day Joe, work a blue-collar job and just play on the weekends," he said.

"I was content with that but something inside of me just kept pulling me back to try to do this for a living. Obviously, I'm glad I did."

Mark Calcavecchia, who is level with Woods on four under, admits it will take a special round to catch Leonard.

"I'll try to regroup but five back is a long way," said the 1989 British Open champion.

"Justin is playing some very good golf. He's playing smart and hitting his irons well.

"I don't expect him to probably shoot worse than par. I definitely think I need a three-or-four under on the front nine to at least get in the mix in the back nine."


Beem takes title

Final leaderboard

Hazeltine reaction

Photo galleries

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