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May 11 2013

3:50 PM

Maggert turns back the clock

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."

 

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