AP photo by Eric Gay / Stephan Jaeger plays in the PGA Tour’s Texas Open on April 5, 2019, in San Antonio. The former Baylor School and UTC star is trying to secure an immediate return to golf’s top circuit with a victory in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Visit Knoxville Open, where he held a three-stroke lead entering the final round.
Chattanooga resident Stephan Jaeger is No. 1 in the Korn Ferry Tour points standings, but he is close to leaving that battle behind for others to wage the rest of this season — and would undoubtedly be quite happy to do so.
The former Baylor School and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga standout from Germany stretched his lead at the Visit Knoxville Open to three strokes over Greyson Sigg after each of them shot a 5-under-par 65 on Saturday at Holston Hills Country Club.
Jaeger, whose lone bogey through the first three rounds came late in Friday’s 62 that gave him a one-shot lead, was at 19-under 191 through 54 holes as he seeks a third victory this season, which would result in his immediate promotion to the PGA Tour.
“I’m still nervous,” Jaeger said in a third-round recap on the Korn Ferry Tour’s website. “I hope that never goes away because it’s fun, but I’m comfortable with my game and I’m hitting my driver good and I’m putting well, and that’s a good combo on a golf course like this. I’m really excited to play with Greyson tomorrow, we’re good buddies so we’re going to have a good time.”
Sigg, who played at the University of Georgia, was the 18-hole leader after a course-record 61.
Kyle Reifers (69) and Australia’s Harrison Endycott (66) headed to the final round tied for third at 14 under, and no one else was closer to Jaeger than eight shots.
The 31-year-old Jaeger, who would also tie Jason Gore’s career record of seven wins on the developmental tour with a victory in Knoxville, previously played on the PGA Tour from 2017 to 2019 and is headed back in 2021-22 — or maybe sooner.
English makes a big move
McKINNEY, Texas — Sam Burns still has the lead at the AT&T Byron Nelson despite more magic on the 18th green from local favorite Jordan Spieth.
Now it’s a race to beat the weather in Texas in the final round with a good number of the tournament’s participants headed to the PGA Championship that starts Thursday at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
Burns shot a 3-under-par 69 on Saturday at TPC Craig Ranch and was at 20-under 196, one stroke ahead of South Korea’s K.H. Lee (67). Spieth, Matt Kuchar and South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel each shot a 66 and were joined by Sweden’s Alex Noren (70) in the tie for third at 17 under.
Spieth rolled in another eagle at the par-5 18th, this time a shorter, bending putt from the fringe behind the hole. While his 55-footer up a hill that splits the green gave him a share of the first-round lead, this one simply trimmed his deficit.
Doc Redman (69) and Ireland’s Seamus Power (67) were another stroke back in seventh, and the group of six in ninth at 15 under included former Baylor School standout Harris English, who zoomed 44 spots up the leaderboard with a bogey-free 63. English had birdies on eight of his first 12 holes and added a ninth on No. 18.
Two other Baylor graduates were further back: Keith Mitchell was tied for 56th at 8 under after a 70 that included an eagle on the par-5 12th, and Luke List (72) was another stroke back with a share of 59th.
Due to heavy rain in the forecast, the 72-player field will switch from twosomes back to threesomes going off the first and 10th tees soon after daybreak Sunday. If delays are avoided, the tournament will finish about four hours earlier than normal.