Maggert Holes Out To Win And Give McCarron Schwab Cup
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2019-11-12
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PHOENIX, Arizona — One unforgettable shot made a winner out of Jeff Maggert — and Scott McCarron.
Maggert was 123 yards away in the 17th fairway, the third playoff hole in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, needing to beat Retief Goosen to end more than four years without winning on the PGA Tour Champions.
McCarron was in the clubhouse, needing Maggert to win for him to capture the Schwab Cup and its $1 million bonus.
Maggert delivered for both with one swing.
His shot landed just short of the pin, took a soft bounce and disappeared into the cup for an eagle to beat Goosen and hand McCarron the season points title.
“I’ve seen it happen. I never, ever thought it would happen to me,” Maggert said about his game-winner. “I was just trying to get it close. Lo and behold, it goes in the hole.”
Maggert raised both arms and the celebration was on — in the fairway and in the clubhouse.
McCarron, who had led the points list since April, failed to contend in the three postseason events and tied for 27th in the final round. Reduced to a spectator at the end, McCarron watched Maggert make an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation for a 5-under 66 to force a playoff.
On the first extra hole, McCarron thought it was over when Goosen had a 4-foot birdie to win the tournament and the Schwab Cup.
“For Goose to have a chance and miss a short putt, for Jeff Maggert — my favorite player on the PGA Tour Champions ... you can’t write that,” McCarron said. “I was very fortunate to have a good stretch early in the year. I didn’t play great in the playoffs, but it was good enough.”
A year ago, McCarron had a one-shot lead going into the final round of the final event and needed to win to capture the Schwab Cup, only to falter badly. Vijay Singh won the tournament to give Bernhard Langer the title.
This time, McCarron needed help.
“He owes me some red wine or something,” Maggert said with a grin.
Goosen wasn’t the only player with a chance to win the Schwab Cup once McCarron was out of the picture.
Langer got in the mix for another title with a hole-in-one on the eighth hole to get within two shots of the lead, only for his putter to go cold. Jerry Kelly, who trailed McCarron, needed to finish in a two-way tie for sixth to win the points title. He came up two shots short.
Goosen, who was No. 5 in the standings, made the best run.
He began the back nine with two straight birdies, and poured it on at the end with an 8-foot birdie on the par-3 15th, a 12-foot birdie on the 17th and a two-putt birdie on the par-5 closing hole for a 64 to post at 21-under 263.
Maggert made a 40-foot birdie putt on the 13th for a two-shot lead, but he didn’t make another birdie — he had to hole an 18-foot par putt from off the green at the 15th — until the 72nd hole.
Goosen was one shot ahead when Maggert pulled his tee shot off a cart path and into the trees on the 18th, laid up and hit wedge to 8 feet for birdie.
Maggert caught a break on the 18th in the second extra hole when his second shot went left, bounced off the gallery and into the fairway. That gave him a clean lie for a tough shot, and he clipped it beautifully to 3 feet for birdie. Goosen chipped from just short of the green to 2 feet for birdie.
They went to the 17th as darkness neared. Goosen hit pitching wedge from a bunker to 8 feet for a good look at birdie. He never had to putt when Maggert holed the winning shot from the fairway.
Maggert had gone 96 starts on the PGA Tour Champions since his last victory in August 2015. His victory was perfect timing for McCarron, who won three times this year, but not since Japan the first week in June.