Maggert wins in first tour start

The Sports NetworkMarch 23, 2014 

Saucier, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Maggert shot 4-under 68 on Sunday to rally and beat Billy Andrade by two strokes at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.

Maggert, who was making his Champions Tour debut, finished at 11-under-par 205. He had three bogeys in the final round after having four in the first two rounds combined, but his seven birdies on Sunday helped him to come from behind for the title.

"I birdied the ninth hole, and that gave me a little momentum, then I made a nice birdie on 10 and I thought I was in the thick of things," Maggert said. "The ball-striking was good all day long. A little hiccup on 16 there with a short putt, but wow, the putt on 17 you can't count on them going in."

Andrade, another tour rookie, closed with a 1-under 71 to drop into second place at minus-9 at Fallen Oak Golf Club.

Last year's runner-up Bernhard Langer (68) and Jay Haas (71) shared third place at 8-under 208. Fred Couples took fifth at minus-7 after closing with an even-par 72.

Couples birdied the first to make it a three-way tie for the lead, but Andrade answered with birdies on one and two to move two clear. Andrade dropped a shot on the fourth, but was still one ahead.

After a pair of pars, Andrade got that shot back as he birdied the seventh to move one ahead of Couples.

Meanwhile, Maggert wrapped bogeys at three and eight around birdies on the fifth and seventh. He birdied the ninth to make the turn at minus-8. Maggert made it two in a row as he birdied the 10th as well.

Andrade then stumbled to a bogey on the 10th and that dropped him into a share of the lead with Maggert. Andrade birdied the 12th, but Maggert answered with birdies at 14 and 15 to move to 11-under.

Maggert was two clear at that point as Andrade tripped to a bogey on No. 14. Andrade birdied the 15th, then saw Maggert bogey the 16th to create a tie at 10-under.

Andrade gave that shot right back as he bogeyed the 16th fall to minus-9. Maggert then birdied the par-3 17th from 45 feet out to go two ahead. Maggert finished there as he parred the last.

"I had a similar putt yesterday. I was down below there and putting across the green, so I had a good feel for the speed and I had a good read. To be honest, I was trying to lag it close," Maggert said of his putt on 17. "I felt like I needed to get it up there close, and it went in."

Andrade ended two back as he closed with back-to-back pars.

"The golf course today I thought played very, very hard, with a different wind. And you know, coming down the stretch those last four or five holes, it got a little nippy," Andrade said. "So it just changed a little. I haven't been in this situation in a long time, and it's going to take me a little while, I think, to get the rust off of the nerves of being in the hunt."

NOTES: Maggert collected $240,000 for the win ... He became the 17th player in Champions Tour history to win his tour debut ... Langer has finished in the top three in four of his five starts ... The start of the final round was delayed two hours by inclement weather ... After three weeks off, the tour heads to Georgia for the Greater Gwinnett Championship, where Bernhard Langer closed with a 67 last year to beat Tom Lehman and Tom Pernice, Jr. by three.

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