Mar 282013
 

 

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John Maginnes/ Daily Reflector

By Ronnie Woodward

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Plenty about East Carolina has changed since John Maginnes was an ECU student in the late 1980s and one of the Pirates’ best golfers.

The intramural field where Maginnes used to regularly hit golf shots is now a parking lot on the school’s medical campus, just one of the changes Maginnes described during a phone interview earlier this week.

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But Maginnes, a former pro golfer who is now a golf analyst for XM radio and hosts the “Maginnes on Tap” show, said East Carolina was the perfect college for him. He will be in town tonight to share stories of Greenville and beyond while serving as the featured speaker at Brook Valley Country Club during the club’s Men’s Night Kickoff.

“East Carolina was a great fit for me because I could play against the best competition in the east,” Maginnes said. “To me, everything about it just fit.”

Maginnes left Greenville in 1991 to pursue a professional career.

His pro highlights include playing with fellow PGA Tour rookie Tiger Woods at the 1996 BC Open. Maginnes said Woods, now the No. 1 player in the world, was great to play with because of his obvious talent, and many golfers still feel the same way.

On a par-5 hole early in that round at the BC Open, Woods was preparing to use an iron from the fairway and Maginnes figured the young star was going to lay up, but Maginnes said Woods instead hit a shot that “looked like it was fired out of a cannon” and the ball ended up on the back fringe of the green.

“He was just that much better than everybody else,” said Maginnes, who grew up in Durham.

Maginnes had his moments too, including playing in multiple U.S. Open tournaments. His best finish was a tie for 28th in 2003.

The former Pirate had multiple wins on the Hogan Tour, which is now the Nationwide Tour, but an elbow injury ended up hampering his career.

He eventually turned to the media side of the sport and has participated in multiple television and radio platforms along the way. He started working full-time for XM radio in 2007.

Maginnes has done several speaking engagements, but he’s expecting tonight’s to feel a little different because of his connection to Greenville and ECU.

“There’s going to be a room full of people that I haven’t seen in a long time, but that know me,” he said. “Remember that I do go on the air every night for two hours so I’m not going to run out of things to talk about, but I think this one is going to be a little different.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 or follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

via The Daily Reflector.

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