Maggert, 51, has won three times, including the U.S. Senior Open, and leads the money list at $1.8 million A few years ago he was slogging away on the PGA Tour.
SNOQUALMIE — The Champions Tour might as well be called the Rejuvenation Tour for its winningest player this year.
Jeff Maggert, 51, has won three times, including the U.S. Senior Open, and leads the money list at $1.8 million A few years ago he was slogging away on the PGA Tour.
“The golf just wasn’t much fun, and being on the road and traveling and not being competitive. … It was kind of wearing me out,” he said after his pro-am round at the Boeing Classic at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge on Thursday.
“Coming out here (Champions Tour) and seeing a lot of guys that I haven’t spent time with in five, six seven years and having a chance to really be competitive and play well has been a lot of fun.”
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“The regular tour is so difficult to compete on in your late 40s,” he said.
Maggert said the only major difference between the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour is in the distance players drive the ball. Twenty-four PGA Tour members are averaging more than 300 yards on measured holes, led by Dustin Johnson at 318.5 yards. The top Champions Tour player is Kenny Perry at 296 yards.
Maggert, who had three career wins on the PGA Tour, said “there’s not a lot of difference” between the tours when it comes to quality of iron play and the short game.
Golfing with Couples
Bernhard Langer, best known in these parts for winning both the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee County Club and then the Boeing Classic in August 2010, joked Thursday that playing with hometown hero Fred Couples in the final round at Sahalee “felt like a Ryder Cup match” because the crowd was so pro-Couples.
“It didn’t feel like a normal tournament,” he said. “It was something else. I was very fortunate to play some great golf. Freddie messed up one hole (No. 2), and I was able to win the tournament.”
Langer, 57, has finished 1-3-2-2 in his past four Champions Tour tournaments this year.
He is grouped with Couples and Maggert at 1:10 p.m. Friday off the first tee.
Langer said he intends to keep playing tour golf as long as his three criteria are met:
“First of all, you’ve got to be healthy. Secondly, you need some success. And you’ve got to have some fun. If any of those three are missing, it may be time to think about handing it up.”
• Hal Sutton, winner of the 1983 PGA Championship, is competing on the Champions Tour with two hip replacements. “I played in pain for a lot of years,” said Sutton, who had one hip replaced in 2012 and the other in 2013. “Then I had to fix the problems that I had created from playing in pain. … It’s taken me a while to fix all the bad habits.” Sutton’s best finish this year is a tie for 15th.”
• Defending champion Scott Dunlap enters the Boeing Classic with eight consecutive rounds in the 60s, including a final-round, 6-under 64 at the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, Alberta, where he finished tied for third.
• The Boeing Classic is overdue to have a hole-in-one. The event is in its 11th year, but there have been only two aces — Tim Simpson, sixth hole, 2009; and Hale Irwin, ninth hole, 2011.
• The Boeing Classic holds the record for largest playoff among PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Web.com Tour events for its seven-man playoff in 2007 won by Denis Watson.
• The Boeing Classic purse is $2 million with the winner receiving $300,000.
• Unlike last year, a uniformed military person won’t be tending the flag on hole No. 18 on Sunday. All golf tours were notified of a new government policy that prohibits use of armed-forces members as flag tenders. Many tournaments, including the Boeing Classic, have a “Military Appreciation Day.”