Maggert enjoys rare double eagle


AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Of the players who made the cut in the 58th Masters, Jeff Maggert finished tied for last. His 3-over-par 75 yesterday put him at 17-over 305.

But Maggert went home to Houston last night with something no else in the field -- not even the champion, Jose-Maria Olazabal -- had.

A double eagle.

And a place in Masters history.

"It was exciting," the low-keyed Maggert said after he became only the third player ever to double-eagle a hole at Augusta National.

Gene Sarazen did it in 1935, Bruce Devlin in 1967.

"It was tough to find something positive about this week, but now I can take it with me for the rest of my life."

Maggert's double-eagle 2 came on the par-5, 485-yard 13th hole.

He had 198 yards to the front of the green and 222 to the flagstick. He tried to hit his approach out to the right in order not to hit into the water in front of the green. The ball bounced twice and rolled into the hole.

"I was just trying to hit some good shots down the stretch," said Maggert.

It was Maggert's first double eagle, and he has never made a hole-in-one. Maggert kept the ball, which he will put in his new home in Houston.

"It'll probably sit on the shelf, if I can keep the kids and the dog away from it," said Maggert.

While Kelli Maggert was following her husband on the course, she was at that moment engaged in a heated conversation with a couple of spectators who said Jeff Maggert didn't belong on this golf course.

Then he hit the shot and after the crowd settled down, the two spectators said, "He's a great player."

He was, for an instant. But that instant will last the rest of his life.

No jacket required

How much is a Masters green jacket worth? To those who win it these days, it could be worth millions in endorsement contracts. To those who won it several years ago, it's worth a lifetime of memories and a chance to be part of the tournament's lore.

But it cost Vern Smith only $5. That's how much Smith, who works for the Canadian government as a media assistant, paid for the most famous sportscoat in sports at a Toronto consignment shop last year.

"It's a very nice coat," Smith told the Augusta Chronicle. "It's in really good shape, there's no peach cobbler on it or anything."

No name tag, either. Smith called Augusta National to try to find out to whom the coat belonged, but he was rebuffed by the club's general manager, James Armstrong.

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