Oct 8, 4:30 PM EDT

Maggert, Montgomerie enter SAS event tied for points lead

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CARY, N.C. (AP) -- One of the threesomes at the SAS Championship sure looks like it belongs in the final round.

Jeff Maggert will be playing with Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer during the opening round of the Champions Tour event that begins Friday.

Maggert and Montgomerie are tied for the season-long competition for the Charles Schwab Cup. It's the first time players have been tied in the race for the cup and its $1 million payout.

Defending cup champion Langer is 388 points behind, and 315 points are up for grabs this weekend at Prestonwood Country Club.

Maggert is a four-time winner this year who also won two majors. He says it's "going to be fun" playing with those two.

"I always say it's good to keep an eye on your competition," he added. "So, I'm excited. My game will be elevated, and I'm sure those guys want to play well, too."

Maggert's two major wins have come at the Regions Tradition and the U.S. Senior Open. In the past four tournaments, he also won the Shaw Charity Classic and the Dick's Sporting Goods Open. Montgomerie won the Senior PGA Championship and has 11 Top 10 finishes. Langer won the Senior Players Championship along with 10 Top 10 finishes.

"Me and Colin are neck and neck with Bernhard right behind us, so I need to play well this week and keep doing what I've been doing all year," said Maggert, 51.

The 58-year-old Langer said he's "seen a lot of Colin and Jeff lately, so it's sort of been the three dominant musketeers or whatever you call it this year."

Langer said he got off to a slow start this season because he was focusing on family issues - his son broke his pelvis playing soccer, and his daughter had two back surgeries earlier this year. He withdrew from the ACE Group Classic in February to be with his family.

"But I've won a major, which is great, and I played well in the other majors," Langer said. "I've scored points in all them, and I've had a bunch of other good finishes in regular events.

"It just turned out that the other two had really good seasons, too, and the three of us were up there more often than not."

With four tournaments left, the Schwab Cup race now is a three-man competition.

"Knowing that the top prize at the Schwab Cup is 880 points, so if you're within 400 or 500 points, you've still got a chance," Langer said.

Maggert also said he got off to a slow start this year, but he felt like he turned things around at the season's first major, the Regions Tradition in Shoal Creek, Alabama.

"Being able to win there and hold my game together coming down the stretch really kind of gave me some confidence to go into the rest of the year," Maggert said. "Really, from that point forward just week in and week out, I've had some pretty steady play.

"I always say winning becomes a habit and poor play becomes a habit. So, when you're playing well and you're winning tournaments, it does become a little easier."

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