CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Suffering from a self-diagnosed case of veteran's malaise, Jeff Maggert had missed seven of 10 cuts coming into the Quail Hollow Championship. But it shouldn't have been too big a surprise when the man who was once a fixture near the top of the leaderboard when it came to U.S. Opens would find himself playing well on a golf course that has often been described as Open-worthy.
"I feel like I'm going to win every week but I miss the cut every week," said Maggert. "So, it's been kind of a strange year."
The 45-year-old Maggert was in the top 10 after opening rounds of 68-70 before stumbling with closing rounds of 75-77 to finish T-59. "I prepared well at home this winter. I spent three months with a trainer, physically staying in shape and doing the right things working on my game," said the three-time winner.
"But, still the motivation is a little up and down right now. I've been 20 years out here and three years overseas in Asia and Australia so it's been a fun career. I'm not looking forward to hanging up the sticks any time soon. The hard part is when you come out and you're playing kind of mediocre and you're kind of on the cut line, the motivation seems to tail off really fast."
Maggert can be forgiven if his thoughts are elsewhere from time to time, however. His father-in-law, Cecil Land, was in the hospital in Greensboro, N.C., where Maggert's wife, Michelle, grew up. "It kind of snuck up on us," said Maggert. "He hadn't been himself for four or five months. We all kind of noticed it over the Christmas holidays.
"About three or four weeks ago he went in for tests and got the body scan and they found some cancer near his lung and his windpipe. They've got to do the chemo and the radiation treatments to try to shrink the tumor or the mass. He's got another week or two weeks of that. It's been a little scary. We hope and we pray we get a few more good years with him."
-- Jim Moriarty