Maggert wins U.S. Senior Open

By Associated PressJune 29, 2015, 12:33 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Jeff Maggert is moving into an elite class on golf's senior circuit.

Maggert won the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday for his second major victory on the Champions Tour this year. He closed with a 5-under 65 at sun-drenched Del Paso Country Club, edging defending champion Colin Montgomerie by two strokes.

The victory makes Maggert more than just a repeat winner on the 50-and-over tour. Along with Montgomerie (three) and Bernhard Langer (three), the three have combined to win the last eight majors.

"It's satisfying just because the guys out here on the Champions Tour are the same guys that I was trying to beat 20 years ago," Maggert said.

The 51-year-old American won his first senior major last month in Alabama in the Regions Tradition. His only other Champions Tour victory came in Mississippi last year.

Maggert had just three wins in more than 20 years on the PGA Tour, the last in the 2006 St. Jude Classic. Now he has matched that total in a little more than a year on the Champions Tour.

"I had a lot of good runs in the U.S. Open over the years and probably lacked a little maturity to pull it off," he said. "But certainly, now that I'm an old guy, I've learned a lot and was able to just steady myself and play well."



Maggert made six birdies and one bogey to finish at 10-under 270. He took home $675,000, a gold medal, a silver trophy and an exemption into next year's U.S. Open at Oakmont.

Montgomerie closed with a 66. Grant Waite and Langer tied for third at 7 under. Waite had a 67, and Langer, who shared the lead with Maggert after three rounds, shot a 68.

But nobody could shake Maggert, who provided a little bit of drama to a final round that lacked it when his approach on the 18th landed in the upslope of the greenside bunker. He wedged out and made the 4-foot par putt, raising his arms in celebration.

Maggert embraced wife Michelle and their 10-year-old children, twins Madeline and Jake, who came running onto the green - with Madeline leaping into his arms.

His family had taken an early morning flight from South Carolina and showed up on the practice range before Maggert began his round. They had missed his other victories on the Champions Tour and didn't want to miss another.

"It was a little bit of an extra, `Hey, they came all the way here. Don't screw this up," Maggert said, chuckling.

After three days that ended with bunched leaderboards, Maggert made three birdies to start his round to quickly pull away. He hit 12 of 13 fairways and consistently hit greens in regulation.

Maggert also drove the green on the 282-yard, par-4 ninth, then converted a birdie putt to move to 9 under. He stuck his tee shot within 5 feet on the par-3 14th before converting another birdie. And he just about sealed his victory by driving the par-5, 550-yard 15th in two, then two-putted for a three-shot lead.

"He was in beautiful rhythm, and he drove the ball magnificent," Langer said. "If you can drive the ball well, you set yourself up. He hit good iron shots on top of that."

Maggert bogeyed the 16th but stayed out of trouble from there to make sure nobody could catch him from the clubhouse.

The 52-year-old Montgomerie, who was trying to become the first back-to-back winner at the U.S. Senior Open since Allen Doyle in 2005 and 2006, put a little pressure on the leader late. He ended a bogey-free round with a birdie putt from about 25 feet on the 18th, walking off the green to roars with pairing partner Tom Watson, who also finished with a long birdie putt.

Montgomerie, who tied for 64th at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay last week, was taking an overnight flight to London - via Los Angeles - to try and qualify for next month's British Open at St. Andrews. He said he did all he could to win in Sacramento, but Maggert was just better this time.

"To come here tired, very tired, and to put a good performance up, it's always nice when you are defending a title, to defend it properly," Montgomerie said. "I did more than that. I nearly got it here."

Watson missed his chance to carve his place as the oldest winner of a senior major at age 65. He started one off the lead but was never a factor, shooting a 69 to tie for seventh at 5 under.

Billy Andrade (63) and Lee Janzen (64) shot the lowest scores of the day to close at 6 under. Andrade finished one stroke shy of Loren Roberts' record for the lowest 18-hole score in any USGA Open championship.

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Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x