Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Maggert Wins in Playoff at Regions Tradition

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Maggert Wins in Playoff at Regions Tradition

Article excerpt

BIRMINGHAM | Jeff Maggert didn't let the missed putts haunt him when he faced the most pressurized one of the day.

Maggert won the Regions Tradition on Sunday for his first Champions Tour major title, beating Kevin Sutherland with a 3-foot par putt on the first hole of a playoff. He missed from a similar distance on No. 17 and failed to hole other modest putts over the final nine holes in a day-long, back-and-forth Shoal Creek scramble.

"No one likes to miss 3-footers," Maggert said. "It doesn't matter if you're a 20-handicapper or a golf pro. When you miss a few of them, you start to second-guess yourself. On 18, I said, 'Hey, you missed it, no big deal, on 17. Let's just go to your routine and your game plan and try to put a good stroke on it.'

"I was nervous, shaking a little bit."

It didn't show in his stroke on the straight-on putt.

Sutherland two-putted for bogey to set up Maggert for the winning shot on the 18th hole.

Maggert closed with an even-par 72 to match Sutherland at 14- under 274. Sutherland had a 71.

Maggert's only previous Champions Tour win came in Mississippi last year in his first start on the 50-and-over tour. He won three times on the PGA Tour, the last in the 2006 St. Jude Classic.

Sutherland had his second runner-up finish of the year and remains stuck at one career win in 544 tournaments spread across the PGA, Champions and Web.com tours.

Maggert won $345,000 and moved into the points lead after the first of five majors.

Sutherland's tee shot on the playoff hole dropped into the left bunker a few feet from the lip and about 130 yards from the green. His next shot landed near fans lining the fairway and he was left needing a long putt to make par.

Sutherland said a nearly day-long struggle with his driver "reared its ugly head at the last moment and got underneath the lip of the bunker and didn't have much of a play really. Couldn't get it to the green."

He said jitters weren't a problem, though.

"I was as relaxed as you could possibly be," Sutherland said. …

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