Stephan Jaeger takes one-stroke lead into final round at Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco
BOISE, Idaho – Stephan Jaeger carded his third consecutive round of 65 or better on Saturday to reach 19-under and take a one-stroke lead at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco. After rounds of 65-64-65, Jaeger leads Cameron Young by one stroke and Brandon Wu by two entering the final round at Hillcrest Country Club.
“No bogeys is always nice,” laughed Jaeger, who had a double bogey and a bogey in each of his first two rounds before a clean scorecard on Saturday. “I just put it in the right spots today on the green. A little more conservative today going at the greens because I knew if I missed on the wrong side I was looking at bogey. My game plan worked out pretty well today and we’ll do the same tomorrow.”
Jaeger, a German national who played collegiately at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, carded six birdies – three on each nine – for a stress-free 65. While the result was similar, the round was much less of an adventure than his first two days, which included a combined 15 birdies, two eagles, two bogeys and two double bogeys.
The 31-year-old has traditionally been comfortable atop the leaderboard. He has won four times on the Korn Ferry Tour (most recently in 2018) and holds the all-time 18-hole scoring record (58) and 72-hole scoring record (30-under 250) on Tour. This season he has made nine of 13 cuts to sit 74th in the points standings entering the week.
“I’m sure I’ll wake up tomorrow and be nervous and be nervous on the first tee, but those are the kinds of nerves that you want to have,” said Jaeger. “If you’re not nervous on the weekend then you either missed the cut or are playing for 71st. It’s good to get some mojo back and get some nerves going on the weekend.”
Upstart Cameron Young leaped into contention behind a 61 on Saturday, the low round of the week. Entering the day T13 and five shots off the lead, Young promptly birdied his first four holes, added a birdie at the 10th, and then went birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie on Nos. 14-17 to reach 10-under on the day and 18-under on the tournament.
“I think 61 is a career-low in competition,” said Young. “I’ve shot 10-under once before, but that was a 62 down on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica last year.”
Young is currently in the midst of a potentially life-altering three weeks on the Korn Ferry Tour. The 23-year-old, who is not a Korn Ferry Tour member, Monday qualified into the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna two weeks ago and eventually finished T11, earning barely earning enough points to get into last week’s event in Portland. He followed that p with a T14 finish a week ago, again earning just enough points to get into the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco.
“I was waking up for a Monday qualifier just over two weeks ago,” said Young, a former star at Wake Forest University. “This is a bit surreal to be playing well in my third event, let alone even playing in one event. I think it’s been a huge step in the right direction to give myself an opportunity to play well.”
Young has had a whirlwind of a year. He was the medalist at the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying Tournament in Dothan, Alabama, in March to earn fully exempt status in Canada, but the 2020 season was cancelled after the COVID-19 outbreak. With no PGA TOUR-sanctioned events to compete in, Young took to Monday qualifiers and mini tour events to gain some competition. Young competed in five Monday qualifiers before his breakthrough in Omaha.
“Taking advantage of Monday qualifiers is crucial because if you miss the cut, you are right back to the drawing board,” said Young. “They’re not much fun. You show up on Sunday afternoon and you know if you’re not 5-under through 10, you’re probably out of luck. It’s a brutal road.”
While he has status on the Mackenzie Tour locked up upon the Tour's return in 2021, Young is currently pushing to earn Special Temporary Membership on the Korn Ferry Tour. To earn the status, he will need to earn more than 269 points (equivalent to the No. 100 finisher in the 2019 points standings). With his two top-15 finishes, he currently has 111 points and would need a three-way tie for third (or better) to lock up Special Temporary Membership this week.
Final-round tee times will run from 7:04 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. MT on Sunday. The tournament will be broadcast live on GolfChannel.com from 2-3 p.m. MT and on Golf Channel from 3-5 p.m. MT on Sunday.