Maggert leads Regions Tradition by one

Jeff Maggert birdied the last two holes in the rain to shoot a bogey-free 4-under-par 68 and take a one-stroke lead over Kevin Sutherland heading to the final round of the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek Golf Club in Birmingham, Ala.

Maggert, who claimed his first Champions Tour title last year in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, had only one birdie over the first 14 holes before making three in the last four holes.

“I made some nice par-saving putts,” said Maggert, who won three times in his career on the PGA Tour. “I didn’t make a lot of birdies until the end. I was just trying to hang around, be patient. Kevin had a one- or two-shot lead on me most of the day and I just didn’t want him to run away from me too far.

“(The 18th) green, I think, slowed up a little bit. Kevin had a really good putt and it just rolled up a little bit short of the hole. If the water hadn’t been on the green, he probably would have made that one. Mine just ran out of gas right on the front in and dropped in.”

Sutherland, from Sacramento and Fresno State, held a one-stroke lead before making his second bogey of the round on the 16th hole before matching birdies with Maggert on No. 17 en route to a 69.

Fred Funk carded a 67 and was four shots behind in solo third, while Jeff Hart and Gene Sauers were six strokes behind in a tie for fourth after both totaled 68.

Tom Pernice Jr. of UCLA had a 68 and was six shots back in a tie for sixth with Berhnard Langer of Germany and Kenny Perry, who both came in at 70.

Defending champion Colin Montgomerie of Scotland shot 72 and was tied for 19th.


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