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Robert Funk paces field after one round of the 2023 Golfweek Senior Division National Championship

One of the most elite senior amateur fields of the year is being paced by one man at the halfway point. Robert Funk holds a one shot lead after posting a 1 under 71 to open the Golfweek Senior Division National Championship at Desert Willow Golf Club in Palm Desert, California.

Despite not feeling one hundred percent with his golf swing, Funk managed to score when he needed to, carding three birdies on the round.

When it comes to his game plan for Monday’s final round, Funk says he’s just going to take it one shot at a time.

As for those in pursuit, there are plenty of contenders waiting. Joe Palmer leads the pack as the lone man to shoot even par on the day. Three over through 15 holes, Palmer closed his first round out strong with a trio of birdies.

Seven men are tied for third. The pack is highlighted with 2021 U.S. Senior Open low amateur Billy Mitchell and 2021 Golfweek Player of the Year and 2022 Challenge Cup captain, Craig Hurlbert.

Seven more players lurk three shots back at 2 over and 16 more players are just four shots back at 3 over. From top to bottom, the entire field is separated by 15 shots or less. The crowded leaderboard is to be expected. Last year’s Golfweek Senior Division National Championship was one of the highest-rated fields in all of senior amateur golf last year, making this championship a sneak peek into the summer major season.

When it comes to how he’s going to defend his slim lead against such a large number of players, Funk has just one request.

“I’d love to make more putts.”If you want to tee it up with the best senior amateurs in the game, check out the Golfweek senior amateur schedule here.

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