Stephan Jaeger wins fifth Korn Ferry Tour title at Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft & Nabisco
Time and time again, Stephan Jaeger has provided a roadmap to playing under pressure. Sunday’s final round at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft & Nabisco proved to be no different as the 31-year-old carded a 3-under 68 to claim a two-stroke victory at Hillcrest Country Club.
“I feel comfortable being uncomfortable,” Jaeger reiterated after the win. “The only time I get uncomfortable is when I have the lead…My goal every time I play is to win the golf tournament. It’s been a little bit of a drought, and obviously I was on TOUR last year and I want to win one of those, but I’m on the Korn Ferry Tour this year so I’m going to try and win as many as I can by next August.”
With the win, Jaeger has now won five times (of 11 career top-10s) in 97 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, one of only 13 players in the Tour’s 31-year history to earn five or more wins. He is two shy of Jason Gore’s all-time record of seven wins.
Jaeger’s victory also places him atop the three-event points list of which the top-five earners over the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series earn 2020 U.S. Open exemptions. While not mathematically confirmed yet, Jaeger is in great shape to earn one of the five exemptions.
“It would be awesome to play in the U.S. Open because I could see Jason Gore and try to beat his record,” laughed Jaeger. “I’m coming for you Jason! Playing in the U.S. Open would be great, but it’s kind of icing on the cake after this win. I’ve got to play well on this Tour to accomplish what I want to do which is to get back on TOUR.”
After rounds of 65-64-65 to start the tournament, Jaeger’s final round was much less of a birdie barrage. He eagled the second hole to quickly get to 2-under on the day but parred his next 11 holes before sinking a 30-foot birdie at the par-4 14th. He added another birdie at the par-5 16th for a three-stroke lead but slipped back to a two-stroke advantage, the final margin, with a bogey at the 17th.
“I felt some nerves early obviously; Cameron came out hot so I knew I needed to stay close,” said Jaeger after his playing competitor, Cameron Young, was 3-under through two holes. “I just never really had a birdie putt that was very close and if I did, I missed it. Sometimes you have days like that. I just put it on cruise control for a little bit there and tried to make some birdies on some easy holes. Nothing really happened until 14 and I made a longer putt there to give me something.”
Jaeger grew up in Germany before moving to the United States to finish up high school, play golf and attend the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. He still lives in Chattanooga with his wife Shelby, who was in attendance in Boise to see his victory.
In addition to his five victories, Jaeger also holds the all-time 18-hole scoring record (58) and 72-hole scoring record (30-under 250) on Tour. This season he had made nine of 13 cuts to sit 74th in the points standings entering the week, but projects to move to 12th in the standings after the win.
Jaeger ultimately held off Syracuse, New York, native Dan McCarthy and former Stanford University star Brandon Wu for the two-stroke victory. McCarthy entered the day T10 but carded a final-round 64 to ascend the leaderboard. Wu, a 23-year-old rookie, earned his best career finish and his second top-10 finish in just four starts as a professional on Tour.
Next week, the Tour travels to Columbus, Ohio, for the second of three events in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series, the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship.