Jeff Mag­gert wins US Se­nior Open to claim sec­ond se­nior ma­jor ti­tle

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY AN­TO­NIO GON­ZA­LEZ

Jeff Mag­gert is mov­ing into an elite class on golf’s se­nior cir­cuit. Mag­gert won the U.S. Se­nior Open on Sun­day for his sec­ond ma­jor vic­tory on the Cham­pi­ons Tour this year. He closed with a 5-un­der 65 at sun-drenched Del Paso Coun­try Club, edg­ing de­fend­ing cham­pion Colin Mont­gomerie by two strokes.

The vic­tory makes Mag­gert more than just a re­peat win­ner on the 50-and-over tour. Along with Mont­gomerie (three) and Bern­hard Langer (three), the three have com­bined to win the last eight ma­jors.

“It’s sat­is­fy­ing just be­cause the guys out here on the Cham­pi­ons Tour are the same guys that I was try­ing to beat 20 years ago,” Mag­gert said.

The 51-year-old Amer­i­can won his first se­nior ma­jor last month in Alabama in the Re­gions Tra­di­tion. His only other Cham­pi­ons Tour vic­tory came in Mis­sis­sippi last year.

Mag­gert had just three wins in more than 20 years on the PGA Tour, the last in the 2006 St. Jude Clas­sic. Now he has matched that to­tal in a lit­tle more than a year on the Cham­pi­ons Tour.

“I had a lot of good runs in the U.S. Open over the years and prob­a­bly lacked a lit­tle ma­tu­rity to pull it off,” he said. “But cer­tainly, now that I’m an old guy, I’ve learned a lot and was able to just steady my­self and play well.”

Mag­gert made six birdies and one bo­gey to fin­ish at 10-un­der 270. He took home US$675,000, a gold medal, a sil­ver tro­phy and an ex­emp­tion into next year’s U.S. Open at Oak­mont.

Mont­gomerie closed with a 66. Grant Waite and Langer tied for third at 7 un­der. Waite had a 67, and Langer, who shared the lead with Mag­gert af­ter three rounds, shot a 68.

But no­body could shake Mag­gert, who pro­vided a lit­tle bit of drama to a fi­nal round that lacked it when his ap­proach on the 18th landed in the up­s­lope of the green­side bunker. He wedged out and made the 4-foot par putt, rais­ing his arms in cel­e­bra­tion.

Mag­gert em­braced wife Michelle and their 10-year-old chil­dren, twins Made­line and Jake, who came run­ning onto the green — with Made­line leap­ing into his arms.

His fam­ily had taken an early morn­ing flight from South Carolina and showed up on the prac­tice range be­fore Mag­gert be­gan his round. They had missed his other vic­to­ries on the Cham­pi­ons Tour and didn’t want to miss another.

“It was a lit­tle bit of an ex­tra, ‘Hey, they came all the way here. Don’t screw this up,” Mag­gert said, chuck­ling.

AP

Jeff Mag­gert is kissed by his wife, Michelle, as he poses for pic­tures with his fam­ily, son, Jake and daugh­ter Made­line, both 10, af­ter win­ning the U.S. Se­nior Open golf tour­na­ment at Del Paso Coun­try Club in Sacra­mento, Cal­i­for­nia, Sun­day, June 28.

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