Jeff Maggert made one of five birdies at the 18th hole on Sunday at THE PLAYERS.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Sergio Garcia wasn't the only player who saw his chance to win THE PLAYERS Championship dissolve at the 17th hole on Sunday afternoon.
Jeff Maggert was tied for the lead at 12 under when he stepped to the tee at the 137-yard par 3. The 49-year-old, whose third and last PGA TOUR win came at the 2006 FedEx St. Jude Classic, chose a 9-iron for the dicey and delicate shot to an island green.
He caught the ball thin, though, and the shot came up short, splashing into the pond that claims 10,000 balls of less significance each year.
"When I hit my shot, I was yelling at it to go, because I thought it had a chance to get up on that little ridge there," Maggert recalled. "I didn't really think the wind was blowing hard enough to keep it short of the green. I didn't take a real aggressive line. I was just trying to hit it right on the top and maybe let it take the slope down.
"... It looked like it was close, but close but no cigar."
Maggert, who was playing in his 20th PLAYERS Championship this week, had stepped to the 17th tee 67 times in competition. So he knew what to expect. He knew what could happen, too.
"You just live with it," he said. "You know it's going to be a test of nerves, and you just go up there and try to hit a good shot. At the end of the tournament when things are on the line, it's the ultimate risk-reward. So you've just got to get up there and try to hit a good shot and get out of there with a par."
Maggert didn't, but he rebounded well. Shaking off the double bogey, he hit a brilliant approach to the 18th hole and rolled in a 3-footer for one of just five birdies made there on Sunday. As a result, Maggert ended up in a tie for second -- his best finish of the season and his first top-10 since he tied for fifth at last year's Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, a span of 37 events.
No one played better on the weekend than the Texan, who shot 8 under for the final two rounds and closed with a 70 on Sunday. He stayed patient throughout the week, and he hopes to build on this success as he heads back to the Lone Star State to play in the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
"I felt like I executed pretty well, and, yeah, just disappointed to come up short," Maggert said. "But it's a funny thing about this game. You put it behind you, you go to next week, and you get up on the first tee on Thursday and you start all over. If you're worried about what happened four days prior, then you're not going to last very long out here.
"You look forward and look to the next shot, the next hole, and the next tournament."
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Eight years ago, Fred Funk made history by becoming the oldest player to win THE PLAYERS Championship at 48 years, 9 months and 14 days.
Sunday, Jeff Maggert has a chance to eclipse that.
Maggert, who turned 49 on Feb. 20 of this year, shot a 6-under 66 Saturday, coming within one of matching his career-low at TPC Sawgrass.
He'll enter Sunday within reach of the lead at 9 under with 18 holes to go.
Asked what his expectations were coming into the week, Maggert joked, "To make the cut."
"I'm still very competitive on the inside and want to play well every week, but it's just tough, just trying to keep it together and keep your health in good shape," he continued. "One week my wrist hurts, the next week my shoulder hurts, so I'm working my way through it."
Maggert came into this week without so much as a top 25 on his resume this season, and he'd broken 70 just once in his last 24 rounds.
Saturday, however, he was spectacular, going out in 31 and charging up the leaderboard after five birdies in a seven-hole stretch on the front nine.
Maggert added two more on Nos. 10 and 16 before making his lone bogey of the day on the final hole, where he missed the green left then hit his bunker shot across the green.
He also needed just 22 putts.
In 19 previous appearances in THE PLAYERS, Maggert has just two top 10s -- both third-place finishes in 1994 and 2000. His best career score here was a 65 in the opening round in 1994.
Can he see himself winning?
"That's why I'm here," said Maggert, who came into the week fourth in driving accuracy and 40th in greens in regulation. "We've still got that in our blood. This course in particular probably really suits my style of game at this point in my career. I feel I can come out and hit the ball well and shoot a good score."
Jeff Maggert has withdrawn from the Valero Texas Open, citing a wrist injury.
The 48-year-old injured his wrist while playing from the bunker on the par-5 14th (his fifth hole of the day). He was 3 over at the time having bogeyed three of his first four holes.
Maggert arrived at TPC San Antonio having missed his last three cuts.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Jeff Maggert, who turns 49 next month, has stolen a page from the young guns and is now tied for the lead at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
Maggert has made seven birdies through 15 holes on the Nicklaus Private Course and he's tied with Jerry Kelly, Bobby Gates and Ricky Barnes. Kelly and Gates are through 16 and 15 holes, respectively. on the Nicklaus while Barnes has played 10 holes at La Quinta.
Patrick Cantlay, the former UCLA standout who is playing on a sponsor's exemption, heads a group of seven players at 6 under. Also at that number are Jason Kokrak, Roberto Castro, James Hahn, Kevin Stadler, Aaron Baddley and Stephen Ames.
Phil Mickelson, who is making his 2013 PGA TOUR debut, is having a difficul time at La Quinta. The two-time champion, who has battled flu-like symptoms for the last 10 days, is 1 over through 14 holes.
Prior to the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Jeff Maggert meets with the media to discuss the importance of finishing in the top 125 on the PGA TOUR money list.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012
1 p.m. ET: Jonas Blixt
1:30 p.m. ET: Jeff Maggert
Wed., Nov. 7, 2012
12:30 p.m. ET: Gary Christian
12:45 p.m. ET: Tommy Gainey
1 p.m. ET: Erik Compton