Jeff Maggert - Go Figure


If you belong to one of those fantasy golf leagues, and you picked Jeff Maggert to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic last week, you might want to take your luck or your uncommon skill at spotting unlikely winners to the stock market.
It was hard to see this one coming. Maggert showed up at the TPC at Southwind having missed his last three cuts. This is a guy whose last PGA TOUR victory in a stroke play event was at Disney way back in 1993.
And there he was bashing an iron almost 260 yards on the 16th hole Sunday. The ball didnt stop until it had reached the back of the green. And his subsequent cross country putt didnt stop until it had found the bottom of the hole.
Maggert, not a bomber by trade, then smashed his next drive down the 17th fairway. The ball rolled and rolled and rolled as if it had landed on a tarmac. After finding the green with his second, he drained another lengthy putt and the drama was done for the day.
At his best, Maggert was a top 10 machine. That ability was good enough to get him a spot on three different Ryder Cup teams. Six times he finished in the top five at a major championship.
But Maggert is 42 now. And until Sunday it looked like he was closer to becoming a human ATM machine on the Champions Tour one day rather than the next 2006 winner on the regular TOUR.
One of the hoariest chestnuts in sport is on any given Sunday. How about any given week?
Maggert led the field in putting at Memphis and he led the field in driving accuracy at 80 percent. He is only the fourth player on the PGA TOUR to come from behind and win an event this year.
If you have an explanation for that latter trend, Im all ears.
Meanwhile Tim Herron, a winner last week at Fort Worth and the 54-hole co-leader at Southwind, ballooned to four over par on his first 10 holes Sunday. He never threatened after that and this could wind up costing him a Ryder Cup berth.
Its easy to suggest that Herrons physical stature, the one that got him a nickname he doesnt even protest - Lumpy - might have been the reason he faded in the fourth round.
But his putter started deserting him early on the back nine Saturday afternoon.
As for John Cook, who hasnt won on TOUR since 2001, he turns 49 in October. A top 10 on the PGA TOUR means he is just one more player who will earn a lot of money on the Champions Tour at 50 if he stays healthy and continues to work on his game.
Its been a strange year on the PGA TOUR. We are now told that Tiger Woods is leaning towards playing the U.S. Open next month at Winged Foot in New York. In his absence there has been something of a lull on the games top TOUR.
Sunday the guy that filled the vacuum was Jeff Maggert.
If you picked him, youre very good.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt