Stephan Jaeger triumphs in a thrilling finish

The final round of the Texas Children’s Houston Open 2024 culminated in a dramatic way

by Andrea Gussoni
Stephan Jaeger triumphs in a thrilling finish
© Getty Images Sport - Joe Scarnici / Stringer

The final round of the Texas Children’s Houston Open 2024 culminated in a dramatic way. Within a span of ten minutes, the potential for various playoff scenarios, including one involving seven players, quickly shifted to Stephan Jaeger clinching his first-ever victory on the PGA Tour.

At 34 years old, the Bavarian from Munich experienced the pinnacle of his career, finishing at -12 in a highly uncertain final round, marked by notable errors.

Texas, results

The closing moments were nerve-wracking, with Jaeger narrowly missing a birdie that would have secured him victory at -13.

However, a few minutes later, Scottie Scheffler's unexpected missed putt from short range changed the narrative. It came down to millimeters that prevented a playoff between the world number one and the German, who consequently earned his ticket to the Masters and the top 50 positions in the world rankings.

Scheffler remained second at -11, alongside Taylor Moore, Tony Finau, Belgian Thomas Detry, and Argentine Alejandro Tosti, who was at -12 on the 18th tee. In seventh place were Americans Billy Horschel and Max Greyserman, tied at -10 with Englishmen Aaron Rai and David Skinns (who slipped from the -11 group at the final hole, paying the price for landing in a bunker with his second shot).

Jaeger becomes the first German since 2015 to win a PGA Tour event; back then, it was Alex Cejka at the Puerto Rico Open, which was an alternate event. The last victory in a full-field event for Germany was achieved by Martin Kaymer at the 2014 Players Championship before going on to win the US Open.

Stephan Patrick Jäger, also spelled as Stephan Jaeger, is a German professional golfer competing on the PGA Tour. Renowned for his accomplishments, he has secured victory in six tournaments on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour in the United States.

His breakthrough PGA Tour triumph came at the Texas Children's Houston Open on March 31, 2024. Amateur Career: Jäger honed his skills in collegiate golf at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before embarking on his professional journey in 2012.

Professional Career: In 2015, Jäger qualified for the U.S. Open but narrowly missed the cut after shooting 74–80. The 2016 Ellie Mae Classic witnessed Jäger's exceptional performance as he carded a remarkable 12-under par 58 in the opening round.

He continued his stellar play with rounds of 65-64-63, securing his maiden Tour victory. His aggregate score of 250 established a new 72-hole record, while his 30-under par total tied the to-par record. He triumphed with a seven-stroke margin over Rhein Gibson and also set records for the 36-hole and 54-hole aggregates.

Despite this remarkable achievement, Jäger concluded the regular season ranked 28th on the money list, falling just three spots short of earning a PGA Tour card automatically.