By John Strege
Scott McCarron and Jeff Maggert. Photo by Christian Petersen
Scott McCarron won the season-long Charles Schwab Cup points race and its $1 million prize on Sunday while holding a glass of wine and watching on a clubhouse television.
More precisely, Jeff Maggert won it for him.
“Are you kidding me?” McCarron said when he saw Maggert hole out his second shot from the fairway on the third playoff hole to defeat Retief Goosen and win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the PGA Tour Champions season finale.
Had Goosen won the tournament, he also would have won the Schwab Cup points race. He would have been looking at a four-footer for birdie had Maggert not delivered a hole-out eagle from 123 yards on the 17th hole at Phoenix Country Club.
“He [McCarron] owes me some red wine or something,” Maggert said. “Congrats to Scott. He played some great golf this year. Hats off to him.”
No chance was the most likely chance that Goosen had of winning the season-long Schwab Cup before the week began. The 50-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer needed to win the tournament and for McCarron, the points leader going in, to finish in a three-way tie for 12th or worse. Additionally, Jerry Kelly, second in points, had to finish tied for fifth or worse.
McCarron, who led the Schwab Cup points standings for most of the year, cooperated by finishing in a tie for 27th. And Kelly did, too, by tying for 12th. But Goosen's putter and Maggert did not cooperate.
Goosen closed with a seven-under-par 64 on Sunday that included three birdies in his final four holes to get into a playoff. He could have won that playoff on the first extra hole but missed a four-foot birdie putt for the victory.
With darkness encroaching and threatening to send the playoff to a Monday finish, Goosen hit his approach shot from a bunker to the 17th green to four feet.
Maggert's approach landed a few feet short of the hole and the ball bounced into the cup, setting off a wild celebration in the clubhouse.
The celebration would soon be joined by Maggert, 55, who won for the first time since 2015. It was his sixth PGA Tour Champions victory.
“I’ve seen it happen, but I never thought it would happen to me in my life,” Maggert said. “Obviously, I didn’t make a lot of putts last two days, but sometimes you don’t need the putter to win."
McCarron's reaction in addition to his clubhouse celebration? “Jeff Maggert, my favourite player on the PGA Tour Champions."