PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – While most players on Saturday seemed to find TPC Sawgrass a suddenly stern test following two days of benign conditions, a 49-year-old senior in waiting made Pete Dye’s monster look like a $10 municipal track.
Jeff Maggert was 6 under par through 10 holes and carded his lone bogey at the last for a third-round 66 that moved him to 9 under and within three strokes of the lead. It was heady stuff for a player who ranks 78th on the PGA Tour this season in third-round scoring and hasn’t finished better than 47th (Humana Challenge).
“I couldn’t put four rounds together back-to-back,” said Maggert, who was tied for fourth place at The Players when play was suspended because of an approaching storm. “The game plan for this weekend was to get to 10, 11, 12 under, but I didn’t expect to do that in one day.”
Maggert climbed 25 spots on the leaderboard with his quick Saturday start. Not bad for a player with one eye on the Champions Tour and an ever-increasing medical file.
In order, Maggert broke a rib in 2007, was sidelined by a bone spur in his shoulder in 2009 that finally required surgery two years ago and tweaked his right wrist hitting out of a bunker last month at the Texas Open.
“I haven’t had to take one Advil all week, so that’s a positive,” he smiled.