LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Jeff Maggert has delivered under pressure before at Disney World.
Sixteen years ago, he won his first PGA Tour event, the Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic, on the resort’s Palm and Magnolia courses. The memories should help him at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic this week as he labors under a different kind of pressure.
Maggert, 45, is 127th on the PGA Tour money list. If he doesn’t move up two spots this week, he says he’s probably going back to Q-School for the first time in 20 years. He used his one-time top-50 career money exemption to play this season. The three-time PGA Tour winner is signed up for the final stage of Q-School next month at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach.
“Hopefully, I will play well this week and won’t have to go, but I don’t dread it,” Maggert says of a possible return to Q-School. “To be honest, if I have to go, I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like. It’s been so long.”
Maggert isn’t feeling the angst so many players fighting to keep their exempt status are feeling here this week. He remembers what it was like to be young and desperate to start a career, but he’s in such a different place now. He and his wife, Michelle, have a blended family of five with three children in college and a pair of 5-year-olds at home. Actually, the 5-year-olds are at Disney this week.
“When I won here, my oldest was 5 years old,” Maggert said.
Maggert will tell you his priorities have changed with his career mostly behind him. He has played on three Ryder Cup teams and a Presidents Cup team and made more than $16 million in his career. He enjoys his time at home and doesn’t grind like he once did on tour, though he still feels good about his game.
“I have some good vibes here,” Maggert said.