ith a single swing of a wedge, Jeff Maggert ended a four-year victory drought and landed Scott McCarron some dearly-sought hardware.
Maggert’s holeout from 123 yards on the third extra hole ended the 2019 PGA Tour Champions season in spectacular fashion. Entering the final round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship with a one-shot lead, Maggert needed a birdie on the last hole of regulation to force a playoff with Retief Goosen. But with Goosen in tight on the third extra hole, Maggert’s wedge approach took two hops and found the hole and spark a fairway celebration.
The eagle gave Maggert his first victory on the over-50 circuit since he won four times during the 2015 season.
“It’s nice to be back in the winner’s circle. Four and a half years on this tour is an eternity,” Maggert said. “I’ve seen (playoff hole-outs) happen, but I never thought it would happen to me in my life. Obviously I didn’t make a lot of putts the last two days, but that just goes to show that sometimes you don’t need the putter working to play well.”
While Maggert and Goosen battled it out in overtime for the tournament title, the fate of the season-long Charles Schwab Cup also hung in the balance. Goosen was in position to win both trophies with a playoff win over Maggert, and he would have become the first PGA Tour Champions rookie to earn the season-long prize.
Instead Maggert’s victory meant that McCarron finally won the Charles Schwab Cup after a number of close finishes. The 54-year-old built a healthy lead in the standings thanks to a trio of early-season wins, but he failed to contend in any of the three postseason events and tied for 27th this week at Phoenix Country Club.
But after finishing second, third and fourth in the season-long race over the last three years, the 54-year-old finally got the job done this season and will receive a $1 million bonus.
“The pressure of winning this trophy got to me a little bit, and I didn’t play as well as I’d been playing,” McCarron said. “I put so much pressure on myself to win this thing. As they say when you’re only shooting for the prize, your arrows don’t shoot straight.”
The playoff result meant that Jerry Kelly finished second in the final standings behind McCarron, while Goosen finished third. Maggert moved up to 11th thanks to his victory, while Champions stalwart and five-time Schwab Cup champ Bernhard Langer finished fourth.
So here’s the Team Woods (captain) will take to Royal Melbourne Golf Club in December. The US is looking to make it 8 straight against Ernie Els’ team.
Brooks Koepka*: OWGR No. 1 Dustin Johnson: No. 3 Justin Thomas: No. 4 Patrick Cantlay: No. 6 Tiger Woods: No. 7 Xander Schauffele: No. 9 Bryson DeChambeau: No. 10 Webb Simpson: No. 11 Tony Finau: No. 14 Patrick Reed: No. 15 Gary Woodland: No. 16 Matt Kuchar: No. 22
*Koepka is still a question mark with a lingering knee injury.
With one of his four picks to fill out the USA’s roster for the upcoming Presidents Cup in December in Australia, Woods picked himself Thursday when he announced his selections. He will join Hale Irwin (1994) as the only playing captains in the competition’s history.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, Tony Finau and Patrick Reed were his three other discretionary choices.
Woods won the Masters in April then became an obvious selection when the No. 7-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking won his record-tying 82nd PGA Tour title at the Zozo Championship in October.
Tiger Woods equalled the PGA Tour record of 82 tournament wins with victory at the Zozo Championship
Tiger who is 43-year-old world number 10, had seven holes to finish in Japan on Monday as he matched fellow American Sam Snead’s record, set in 1965.
Snead was aged 52 when he won for the final time on the PGA Tour, while Nicklaus was 46 when he lifted the last of his major trophies.
After his record-equalling victory, Woods said: “As far as playing until 52, I hope that’s the case. If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have given you a different answer, but certainly the future looks brighter than it has. The body can’t do what it used to but I can still think my way around the golf course. I know how to play and I was able to do that this week. There was a time if I didn’t know if I would play again so I am very appreciative.”
The 15-time major winner said the knee surgery provided the “most challenging” comeback of his career but he eased to a three-shot victory from Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama to win a PGA Tour title in a seventh different country.
He said: “I know some of my friends have made Olympic teams before in the past and they said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’ll be 44 and I don’t know if I have many more chances after that.”
Of players to have made 200 starts, Woods has the highest win percentage in PGA Tour history on 22.8% ahead of Ben Hogan (21.3%), Byron Nelson (18.1%) and Sam Snead (14%)
Woods reached 82 wins aged 43, Snead was 52
Woods has won 44 of 46 PGA Tour events (95.6%) where he has held the outright 54-hole lead.
He has won PGA Tour events in 19 different seasons, beginning in 1996
Woods has made the cut in 90.8% of his PGA Tour starts
Woods has won PGA Tour events in Japan, USA, England, Scotland, Spain, Canada and Ireland
CHIBA, Japan – Day 1 at the Zozo Championship that began with three consecutive bogeys to start the round followed by nine birdies for a share of the lead at the first event of the 2020 season.
To put this in context for Tiger, this was the first time in over a decade Tiger has signed for lead after 18 holes of play.
“I certainly was not expecting to shoot 6 under par after that start,” Woods stated. “That was a very ugly start and to be able to flip it like that, I felt that if I could get to under par for the day, I figure most of the guys would be about 2, 3 under par with the wind blowing as hard as it was today and I wouldn’t be that far behind.”
It was the first time since 2013 that he started his season with a round in the 60s, the lowest round by two shots for Woods in a season debut.
“This is how I’ve been hitting it at home, so that wasn’t a real big surprise. It’s a matter of with a scorecard in your hand, you’ve got to post a number now,” Woods said. “It’s actually time to grind out a score.”
Perhaps this was to be anticipated following another offseason surgery to mend an ongoing ailment that, at least in retrospect, had started to impact every aspect of his game. Woods revealed this week that he’d initially planned to have knee surgery last December but held off following his victory at the 2018 Tour Championship.
“I was trying to make compensations,” he said on Thursday. “Unfortunately, with the lack of movement that I had in my knee, my back took it and that’s the last place I want to feel it.”
Get fitted for Tigers TaylorMades at SwingFitClubs – Book Here –
Tiger Woods has announced he will release a book about his storied life and sensational career.
The 81-time PGA TOUR winner has had a plethora of books written about him over the years, but this will be the first official account coming directly from Woods and those in his small inner circle.
“I’ve been in the spotlight for a long time, and because of that, there have been books and articles and TV shows about me, most filled with errors, speculative and wrong. This book is my definitive story,” Woods said via statement Tuesday.
“It’s in my words and expresses my thoughts. It describes how I feel and what’s happened in my life. I’ve been working at it steadily, and I’m looking forward to continuing the process and creating a book that people will want to read.”
I’ve been in the spotlight for a long time, and because of that, there have been books and articles and TV shows about me, most filled with errors, speculative and wrong. This book is my definitive story.https://t.co/t2vs8YusEGpic.twitter.com/HOHjtH5dxx
It will cover everything from his childhood, his stellar amateur career, his multiple injuries and personal battles, and of course his compelling professional golf career through his 15th major championship at the Masters in April.
The publishers claim the book “is a candid and intimate narrative of an outsize American life: from growing up a celebrated golfing prodigy to shattering centuries-old racial barriers as a young pro; from rising to unprecedented fame and global icon status to battling devastating injuries and personal issues; from enduring years of physical anguish to mounting an astonishing comeback at 43 years old, culminating with the 2019 Masters, where his thrillingly impossible victory captured the imagination and hearts of people around the world.”
“Meeting with Tiger, speaking with him at length about the process of writing a memoir, I was delighted to discover how much he has to say, and how ready, how eager, he is to say it,” editor Shannon Welch said.
“He’s at a place in his career and his life where he’s thinking deeply about his story, the highs and the lows, and how it all relates and connects. I think the result will be extraordinary.”
Woods, who hasn’t played since August and has had arthroscopic surgery on his knee, is due to start his 2019-20 PGA TOUR season next week at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in Japan, a few days after he battles Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama in The Challenge: Japan Skins.
He will then focus on his captain duties for the Presidents Cup as he must select his four captain’s picks to round out the U.S. team, which may or may not still include himself, on Nov. 4.