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Published: Monday, 4/14/2003

Masters notebook: Maggert's strange day

BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE
The ball bounces off Jeff Maggert's chest after hitting the lip of the bunker on the third hole. Maggert took a two-stroke penalty and triple-bogeyed the hole. The ball bounces off Jeff Maggert's chest after hitting the lip of the bunker on the third hole. Maggert took a two-stroke penalty and triple-bogeyed the hole.
DAVE MARTIN / AP Enlarge

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Jeff Maggert, who always seems to get in his own way when he has a 54-hole lead, did it in again yesterday, this time in costly fashion.

Maggert hit himself with his own ball, trying to play a shot from a fairway bunker on the third hole, resulting in a two-stroke penalty. It was the start of a disastrous final day at the 67th Masters in which Maggert combined to take 15 shots on two holes.

“I'd love to play a couple of holes again,” said Maggert, who shot 75 and finished fifth at 2-under 286, five shots behind winner Mike Weir.

Maggert was playing his second shot from the left fairway bunker at the 350-yard third hole when his ball hit the grassy bank in front of him and caromed backward, hitting Maggert in the chest. Under the rules of golf, Maggert incurred a two-stroke penalty for the infraction, and it led to a triple-bogey 7 that dropped him, at the time, two shots behind Weir.

“Funny things happen sometimes,” Maggert said. “The golf tournament wasn't over after the third hole.”

It was after No. 12, at least for Maggert.

Maggert recovered and got back to 4-under, just two shots from the lead, with birdies at Nos.5 and 10. But, at the 155-yard 12th, the hole that has claimed many Masters hopefuls, Maggert skittered his second shot into Rae's Creek from a tricky downhill lie in the back bunker. After dropping in the designated area back toward the tee, Maggert hit his next shot back in the same creek and finished with an 8.

“I got a bad break,” Maggert said. “The ball got caught in the rake mane. I had a lousy lie. I needed to blast at the edge of the fringe.”

For Maggert, it was another disappointing finish. He has held the 54-hole lead nine times in his career on the PGA Tour, but won only one of those - the 1993 Walt Disney Classic.

“It was a very strange day,” Maggert said.

THIRD AGAIN: Tiger Woods didn't win the Masters for the third year in a row. But Phil Mickelson, who shot a final-round 68, finished third for the third year in a row.

It was the first time Mickelson, who finished at 5-under 283, has shot a sub-70 round on the final day at Augusta National.

“I thought if I got to 5 or 6-under [for the day] it might do it, but the two guys ran away with it,” Mickelson said. “I'm pleased with 68 and won't worry if it's not enough. I think it's the best round I've played on Sunday at Augusta and I'm happy with it.”

HISTORY LESSON: Weir is the first Canadian to win a major championship. The previous best finish was second by George Knudson at the 1969 Masters and Dave Barr at the 1985 U.S. Open.

The sudden-death playoff was the 12th in Masters history, but the first decided by a bogey.

CUTTING EDGE: When Bernhard Langer missed the cut, ending his streak of 19 in a row, Fred Couples now has the longest active streak of cuts made at the Masters. Couples has never missed a cut, going 19-for-19. The Masters record is 23 in a row by Gary Player (1959-83).



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