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Jeff Maggert makes no missteps in winning Shaw Charity Classic

WATCH ABOVE: Gord Gillies sits down with 2015 Shaw Charity Classic winner Jeff Maggert after his triumphant victory.

The final round of the third Shaw Charity Classic was billed as a battle between some of the biggest names in golf— co-leaders Colin Montgomerie and Miguel Angel Jimenez, trailed closely behind defending champion Fred Couples.

But it was Jeff Maggert, who started the day two shots behind and not only made up the difference, but lapped the field.

Maggert shot 6-under par 64 with a single bogey in the final round to win the tournament over a struggling Montgomerie, who said he felt ill for most of the day after playing solidly for the first two rounds, and Jimenez, who faded to a distant twelfth. Canadian Stephen Ames had costly bogey on the final hole to finish six shots off the lead in fifth place.

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READ MORE: Shaw Charity leader Colin Montgomerie plays his way to fan favourite

Maggert, who has won two major championships on the Champions Tour this year, said he started the final round with a sense of how he wanted to attack the course at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club, and stuck with it even as the leaders faltered.

“In my mind I had a game plan of how I was going to play that round and everything was going according to that game plan,” he said.

“The things I couldn’t control were what the other players so I tried not to worry about the leaderboard much at all.”

When Montgomerie, the Scottish golf hall-of-famer who played so well in the first rounds of the tournament, flubbed a chip on the ninth hole on his way to making an untimely double bogey, Maggert was in command. Calling it a “shift in momentum,” suddenly Maggert had a sizable lead to work with.

“I thought in the beginning it was Miguel and Colin’s tournament,” Maggert said. “I wanted to stay aggressive and make birdies. Everything was according to plan for me on the front nine, for Colin and Miguel probably not according to their game plan.”

READ MORE: Former Major champion Corey Pavin plays Shaw Charity Classic with kidney stones

At 51, Maggert now has as many wins this year on the Champions Tour as he did in a 25-year career on the PGA Tour. He was close to breaking through repeatedly, perhaps most notably at the 2003 Masters when poor bunker shots on two holes provided the opening Canadian Mike Weir needed to win his lone major.

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Calling that tournament in April more than a decade ago “good for the Canadians that week,” Maggert admitted his career hasn’t measured up to the expectations of many, let alone his own lofty ambitions.

Why?

“Late bloomer maybe,” said the stoic Texan.

“It was a long season—25 years of playing on the tour,” Maggert added. “I had a lot of close calls, a few chances to win some majors. For whatever reason I thought I’d win a dozen times in my career, but I didn’t. In some regards I feel I still have a lot to prove.”

Following his round, a pale Montgomerie said he felt “a bit weird all day actually. I didn’t play well at all.”

“I didn’t strike the ball well,” he said. “I duffed the ball, I caught the ball heavy—I was all over the place.”

Still, Montgomerie, the defending Senior PGA Championship winner, will find himself alongside Jimenez at Whistling Straits this coming week for the PGA Tour’s final major.

Couples was expected to put up a charge as he did last year by shooting 61 to come from behind and win the tournament. He started quickly, making birdies on four of his first six holes, but a double-bogey on the 15th hole finished any chances he had. Still Couples, the biggest draw in a star-studded field, said he’ll be back in Calgary next year.

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“I’ll come every year hopefully—plan on it,” he said. “I like the course, like the tournament, and the Shaw people are incredible.”

With his son Ryan carrying his bag, Ames enjoyed another solid performance, his third Top 10 of the season.

“Overall I was very happy about the whole week,” he said. “I’ve been playing well for the last month. A win will happen, I just have to be patient and let it happen.”

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