Notebook: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, Round 3
March 23, 2014
- Jay Haas, who tied for third, had his best finish of 2014 at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
Jeff Maggert’s improbable 45-foot uphill, left-to-right breaking, birdie putt at the par-3 17th hole, coupled with Billy Andrade’s bogey just moments later at the par-4 16th opened up a two-stroke lead and allowed Maggert to coast in for his first Champions Tour title in his debut on the circuit. Andrade, the 36-hole co-leader, led through the first 13 holes on Sunday but a missed three-foot par putt at the par-3 14th was the start of his undoing. He crept back to within one stroke with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 15th hole but Andrade’s fate was sealed when he pushed a 7-iron approach shot into the right bunker at No. 16 and couldn’t make par.
With His Victory…Jeff Maggert
• He claims his first victory on the Champions Tour, becoming the 17th player in the history of the circuit to win in his debut. The last player to do that was Rocco Mediate, who won the Allianz Championship last year.
• Maggert becomes the first rookie to win since John Riegger won the Boeing Classic near Seattle last summer.
• At 50 years, one month, 3 days, he’s now the youngest winner of this event and the youngest winner of a Champions Tour event since John Huston won the 2011 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open just 25 days after turning 50.
• He wins a TOUR-sponsored event for the first time since the 2006 FedEx St. Jude Classic, ending a victory drought of seven years, nine months, 23 days. It was the last of his three career titles on the PGA TOUR.
• He receives a two-year exemption into the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in Hawaii.
• He collects 240 Charles Schwab Cup points, moving into eighth place in the season-long race, and also earns a check for $240,000.
• He becomes the first player to make this event his first win on the Champions Tour and the fourth player in the five-year history of the event to win the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Presented By C Spire in his first appearance at Fallen Oak.
• Best finish on the PGA TOUR this year was a T16 at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico.
• Jeff Maggert’s winning score of 11-under marked the third time in the five-year history of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Presented By C-Spire that the champion finished with a 54-hole score of 205. David Eger was at 11-under when he won the inaugural event in 2010 and last year, Michael Allen registered a score of 11-under 205. Maggert was the only player in the field to post three consecutive rounds in the 60s at Fallen Oak.
• Bernhard Langer’s final-round 68 moved him up into an eventual T3 and he’s now finished among the top three in four of his five starts on the Champions Tour this year and in the top 10 in 15 straight tournaments on the Champions Tour. The last time Langer was not in the top 10 in a Champions Tour event was when he was T14 at the U.S. Senior Open in Omaha (July 14).
• Jay Haas also managed to finish T3 with Langer this week, his best performance of the 2014 campaign. The 60-year-old Haas has been among the top five in four of his five appearances on the Champions Tour this year.
• Bernhard Langer earned 105 Charles Schwab Cup points this week to increase his total in the season-long race to 711 points. Langer widened his lead in the Schwab Cup race to 213 points over Fred Couples who finished fifth this week at Fallen Oak and earned 76 points.
• Michael Allen’s T13 performance this week means that no defending champion has still finished among the top 10 the following year. Fred Couples, the 2012 champion, finished T12 in 2013, the highest finish by a defending champ.
• In just his fourth appearance on the Champions Tour and first since last year’s SAS Championship where he was forced to withdraw after 12 holes in the opening round, Sir Nick Faldo finished T53 at Fallen Oak.
R1 - Mark McNulty (70)
R2 - Fred Funk (67), Kirk Triplett (69), Jim Rutledge (69)
R3 – Jeff Sluman (67), Mike Goodes (67), Steve Pate (67), Bart Bryant (69), Colin Montgomerie (70), Esteban Toledo (69), Rick Fehr (70)
• Nick Price made the first ace in Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Presented By C Spire history when he holed a 9-iron shot from 152 yards at the par-3 14th hole. It was Price’s first hole in one as a member of the Champions Tour. He had three aces on the PGA TOUR, the last coming at the 1997 NEC World Series of Golf. It also marked the second straight week for an ace on the Champions Tour. D.A. Weibring had an ace in the second round of the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif.
• There were 40 total rounds in the 60s this year compared to 37 a year ago. Only eight players posted rounds in the 60s on Sunday compared to 20 on Saturday. Last year on Sunday, only seven players had scores in the 60s.
• The par-4 2nd hole again played as the most difficult in the tournament with a stroke average of 4.258. Last year, the hole was the hardest with a stroke average of 4.278. The par-5 6th hole was the easiest again this year (4.654), giving up five eagles and 91 birdies. Last year, No. 6 had a stroke average of 4.614 and gave up nine eagles and 95 birdies.
• The delay to the start of today’s final round was the first time this year on the 2014 Champions Tour that a round did not start on time due to inclement weather.