American Express – Maverick McNealy Shoots Saturday’s Worst Round
Maverick McNealy is a talented young player on the PGA Tour, and, let’s be honest, he’s got an amazing name. And speaking of amazing, McNealy’s front nine on Saturday at the American Express was just that – amazing. But not in the way he hoped it would be.
McNealy stared the day in a tie for 56th place, needing to make something happen on moving day to get himself in contention for a Top 25 finish. Instead, he went in the other direction.
Things started quietly enough for McNealy on Saturday. Playing the back nine first, he parred the par-4 10th hole. He had a shot at birdie on the par-5 11th, but his nine-foot birdie putt missed and he tapped in for a par.
Then, the wild ride that was his first nine started. On the par-4 12th hole, McNealy hit the fairway and was on the green in regulation. But he three-putted from 30 feet for his first bogey of the day.
He seemed to carry that bogey with him to the 13th tee. On the par three, his tee shot landed in the water. He took a drop, then hit his third shot on the green, but he was still 50 feet from the hole. His fourth, a putt, was, frankly, not good. He left himself 20 feet for a double bogey. But that putt missed, and McNealy tapped in for a triple-bogey six. He was 4-over par at that point.
McNealy would par the 14th hole, seeming to settle himself a bit in the process. Then, at the par-4 15th, McNealy hit the fairway, then the green. And, from about 17 feet, he rolled in his putt for a birdie. He was back to 3-over par.
He parred the 16th hole before the other par three on the back nine, the 16th, bit him, much like the 13th did. McNealy again hit his tee shot into the water. He took his drop, then hit his third shot about 12 feet from the cup. But he missed the putt and settled for a double-bogey five. He was 5-over through eight holes.
McNealy would then bogey the 18th hole to complete his first nine at 6-over par. Four pars, one birdie, two bogeys, a double and a triple. McNealy’s first nine had a little bit of everything on Saturday.
His back nine was much more normal. For a while. McNealy parred the first five holes on his second nine. Then, he hit the par-3 sixth hole. There, McNealy hit his tee shot in the water. After a drop, his third shot left him about 60 feet. He would need three putts to get in, completing his triple-bogey six. He was 9-over at that point.
McNealy would finish with an 79, which tied Nelson Ledesma for the worst round by any player on Saturday. He is currently 71st, or last among those who made the cut.
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