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  1. Sports

St. Petersburg’s Jack Maguire looked forward to playing in front of home crowd

Maguire, who attended St. Petersburg High, qualified for the Valspar Championship on Monday
St. Petersburg resident Jack Maguire hits his approach on the No. 1 hole during a practice round for the Valspar Championship Tuesday on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Spa and Resort. [Photo by Scott Purks]

PALM HARBOR — When Jack Maguire was in elementary and middle school, he was a standard-bearer for the tournament at Innisbrook. He didn't imagine one day he might actually be playing in the tournament.

Maguire shot a 64 at Southern Hills Plantation in Brooksville on Monday in a qualifying tournament for one of four spots in the Valspar Championship. The former St. Petersburg High School state champion will be playing in the front of the home folks when he tees it up on Thursday at 8:51 a.m. on the tenth tee. He said he has 30 tickets for family and friends and expects more than that to show up for the first two rounds.

"I obviously dreamed of it, but I never thought that I would (play in the tournament),'' Maguire said. "Once I got to high school, then it seemed more realistic.''

After high school, Maguire, 23, played college golf at Florida State. He turned pro in 2015 and that year he qualified for the U.S. Open. He is currently on the Web.com Tour, which is one step below the PGA Tour.

Maguire said he's not thinking about his finish this week. He just wants to play well on the Copperhead Course, which he has played many times as a junior.

"I don't like to put expectations high, but I'd love to make the weekend and then go Top 15 or Top 10,'' Maguire said. "You just never know. I like to keep the expectations low and have confidence in my game.''

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