Haas wins first major


EDMOND, Okla. – Jay Haas won the Senior PGA Championship for his first major title Sunday, beating Brad Bryant on the third playoff hole for his third straight Champions Tour victory.

Bryant, who caught Haas with an eagle at No. 16, missed a short par putt on the pair’s third trip to the par-4 18th.

Both drove into the fairway but Haas’ second shot ended in a bunker. He popped onto the green from there, but Bryant was in better position after chipping onto the back fringe and pushing a long putt close to the cup.

Haas stepped up first and dropped his putt. Bryant missed to the left – his shoulders slumped after a brilliant comeback.

Haas had a 3-under-par 68 and Bryant a 71 to finish at 5 under for the tournament. Third-round leader Gil Morgan, who shot a 74 on his home course at Oak Tree Golf Club, finished two strokes behind in third place.

Maggert ends drought

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Jeff Maggert won the St. Jude Classic for his third PGA Tour title and first since 1999, closing with a 5-under 65 on Sunday for a three-stroke victory over Tom Pernice Jr.

Maggert, who began the round three strokes back, sealed his first victory by rolling in a 36-foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th for a three-stroke lead.

“I would’ve bet I would’ve won more times by now,” Maggert said. “With five kids at home, I have a lot of other priorities that are important to me in my life. It’s just great I can come out here and do this … and still fortunate I can come out and win at the age of 42.”

He had four birdies, a bogey and the eagle in the final round to finish at 9-under 271 on the TPC at Southwind.

Pernice, who started Sunday tied with Tim Herron for the lead, shot a 71. John Cook, who won here at 26 under in 1996, closed with a 71 to tie for third with Kris Cox (72) at 4 under.

Herron, trying to join Phil Mickelson as the only players to win consecutive tournaments on the tour this year, had a pair of double bogeys and finished with a 77 to fall into a tie for 16th at even-par 280.

Maggert came into this event having missed his last three cuts and his best finish a tie for eighth in Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January. He had been struggling with his putter, but that club helped him win Sunday with no birdie closer than 6 feet, with the longest a 33-footer on the par-4 17th that padded his lead.

The final round started with Pernice and Herron tied at 7 under, and eight players within four strokes. Herron promptly bogeyed his first hole, starting a wild afternoon.

When Cox bogeyed No. 7, he fell into a five-way tie atop the leaderboard with Herron, Pernice, Jay Delsing and Cook.

Herron first fell off the pace with a double bogey on the par-4 seventh when he hit his tee shot into thick rough left that forced him to hit out left onto a tee box for No. 2. He hit his third onto the green but three-putted.

Cook then bogeyed No. 10 and fell back to 5 under.

Maggert birdied the par-3 11th with an 8-footer and went to 6 under. Pernice, two groups back in the final pairing, made it a three-way tie again with an 18-foot birdie putt that rolled on the right edge and around the back before finally falling in.

Cox, playing in only his 39th PGA Tour event with his best finish a tie for 18th here in 2004, dropped back with a bogey on No. 13.

That left Maggert and Pernice tied at 6 under, with Cook, Cox and Delsing a stroke back. Maggert finally emerged as the lone leader when Pernice bogeyed the par-3, 225-yard 14th.

Pernice left his tee shot just short of the green, 87 feet short of the pin tucked far right behind water. His second came up 9 feet short and two-putted for bogey. He talked with rules officials about his putter touching the ball on address, but was not penalized because he didn’t advance it.

Divots: This was Maggert’s 187th event since his last victory. … Cook’s tie for third was his best finish here since his 1996 victory. He hadn’t finished higher than a tie for 29th since then.

AP-ES-05-28-06 1822EDT