My experience with the media in my 30-year career generally has been fantastic, so when I saw the hatchet job by USA Today’s Christine Brennanon Thursday (https://usat.ly/2r02nb6), I was more than dismayed. I was perplexed and angry.
I was portrayed by Brennan as sexist and clearly not in tune with her agenda.
I caught a glance of Brennan sitting in the audience in my pre-tournament interview on Wednesday for the Senior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club-Washington D.C. Although I had never met her, I had read many of her articles and I suspected that she would attempt to portray me in a negative light.
After some questions about my relationship with President Donald Trump, Brennan asked me why I was representing the Trump name on my chest.
I answered by saying that I believe in almost every policy that he supports: less regulation, smaller government, better protection for our borders, a bigger military and lower taxes.
Of course, that was not enough to explain why I backed the president.
Brennan then asked whether I supported Trump when he said unfavorable comments about women on the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape from 2005.
At the time, it was clear that the interview was not going to go well either way. I told Brennan that I wasn't trying to defend it. I wasn't asked to do so.
That was that, I thought.
Early on in discussing the PGA Tour and Champions Tour successes, I made the following statement, all in fun: “It seems like every birthday I get a new head cover. [Meaning I am a short hitter.] [I] feel like I should be on the ladies’ tour right now. But I didn't mean that in a derogatory sense; not at all. Just because Annika [Sorenstam] outdrove me, I'm a little bitter, but, no, it's, it's a good golf course.”
My intention was to play up the 2005 Skins Game event with Annika Sorenstam. Anybody who knows me and has heard of that story will know that I have the utmost respect for Annika and the LPGA.
I would like to point out that if you were to ask anyone in the interview room what I meant, no one would ever depict me the way I was portrayed in Brennan’s report.
It was as if it occurred at two different places. It simply did not happen.
I don’t mind that I support Trump and she doesn’t; that doesn’t bother me at all. However, I am extremely bothered by the fact that Brennan has pushed others toward questioning my relationship with Annika and the LPGA. That really hurt. She created an image as if I'm a man who disrespects Annika and the LPGA.
I don't know how she could even validate that. I'm livid about that.
If you were to call every woman on the LPGA who knows me and the story about Annika and the Skins Game, I guarantee that every single person would support me 100 percent. Brennan does not know the story, and she spun it to fit her own agenda.
So, I just don't get it. I don't understand why Brennan would come to this golf tournament with an agenda and get away with it. Her whole goal is to take down Trump and anyone who supports him. I don't think I've ever read an article by her that is positive. Her writing is always slanted negatively and often attempts to take somebody down.
Brennan can't defend what she did yesterday. She can't defend what she said about Annika and me. My comment was about me being short and being outdriven by Annika. That is not sexist. In fact, I never said anything within the context of sexism.
Welcome to the barbecue.
Fred Funk, 60, has won eight times on the PGA Tour and nine times on the PGA Tour Champions.