Jeff Maggert will rue missed putts

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Jeff Maggert said after his round that five three-putts will stick with him more than anything else this week at TPC Sawgrass.  CHRIS O'MEARA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHRIS O'MEARA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jeff Maggert said after his round that five three-putts will stick with him more than anything else this week at TPC Sawgrass.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Jeff Maggert will remember one thing about The Players Championship.

Not his water ball on the famed island 17th hole that led to double-bogey Sunday. Not his birdie on 18. Not even his runner-up finish, the 49-year-old Texan’s best showing since winning the 2006 St. Jude Classic.

Five three-putts stood out more than everything else at TPC Sawgrass.

“I gave away five shots,” Maggert said after 70 left him tied for second behind Tiger Woods.

Maggert recalled each of them with vivid detail: two in the final round, one Saturday and two more Thursday.

“I’ll remember that a lot more than I will remember the shot at 17,” he said.

TIGER’S DROP: Playing partner Casey Wittenberg and Mark Russell, vice president of competition for the PGA Tour, have no concerns about Woods’ drop on No. 14.

Woods hit a high, sweeping hook into the water down the left side of the fairway. There were questions about where Woods took the drop. NBC’s Johnny Miller suggested it was a “borderline” spot. But Russell said there was nothing wrong with it.

Wittenberg said there was “no doubt” that he took the drop in the right spot.

RORY’S ROAD: After missing the cut the past three years at Sawgrass, Rory McIlroy might have finally figured some things out.

McIlroy birdied four of his final six holes Sunday, getting to 7-under.

“I think my game plan worked pretty well,” he said. “I thought my strategy off the tee worked really well for the most part and that enabled me to have more opportunities for birdies.”

McIlroy kept his driver in the bag for many holes, preferring to hit fairway woods while worrying more about placement and accuracy. It could come in hand at other courses on his schedule.

“It’s sort of a little stretch here where you’re not going to be going all guns blazing off the tee,” he said.

McIlroy will take the next week off and work on his putting. He ranked 57th in putting at Sawgrass.

“Tee to green I thought I played really, really well,” he said, adding that reading the Bermuda greens proved challenging. “I just didn’t hole the putt. So I’ve got a week off now, and I’ll go and work on that and see if I can improve around the greens. If I can do that and keep hitting the ball the same way, I think it’s very, very close.”

___

DIVOTS: David Lingmerth’s runner-up finish set a new mark for the best showing by a PGA Tour rookie at The Players. ... The weekend at The Players yielded no bogey-free rounds. ... A total of 44 balls landed in the water surrounding the famed 17th hole. That includes 39 tee shots and five third shots.


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