Jaeger Beats No. 1 Scheffler, Four Others by 1 Shot in 76th Houston Open

Stephan Jaeger of Germany took down top-ranked Scottie Scheffler.

The 34-year-old Jaeger closed with a three-under-par 67 to beat Scheffler and four other golfers by one stroke to claim his first PGA Tour victory in the 76th Texas Children’s Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Club in Houston.

Scheffler, who was trying to win his third consecutive start, missed a six-foot birdie putt on the 18th final hole that would have forced a playoff, and his miss of a bogey putt from inside two feet on the final hole of the second round proved to be very costly in the long run.

“I just tried to stay within myself,” said Jaeger, who won six times of the Korn Ferry Tour. “Birdies eluded me on the back nine, but this golf course plays difficult, especially when you’re around the lead. I’m just super happy.

“Honestly, it’s fun to watch (Scheffler), right?. It’s unorthodox in a sense and ball-striking-wise it’s really, really, really impressive what he’s doing week in, week out. To be that on, and your bad stuff be that good, is pretty impressive. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, he’s awesome, so I’m happy for him.

“But, I’m just super happy to beat him.”

Jaeger, who earned his first start in the Masters in two weeks, carded four birdies and a bogey on the front nine before finishing with nine straight pars to record a winning score of 12-under-par 268.

Scheffler, who captured the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship in his last two starts, had four birdies and two bogeys in his 68.

“I didn’t think it was going to move very much and I tried to hit it straight, and I feel like I started right in the middle and looked like it broke off pretty hard, so it was just a misread,” Scheffler said of his missed birdie putt on the last hole.

“I put up a good fight, felt like I had some weird breaks this week. That’s kind of the thing, like it’s tough to describe, but obviously I’m a bit disappointed. I hit two or three really good shots into No. 18 to give myself a chance, and I feel like I made the putt and I looked up and it was breaking off. So it’s a bit disappointing, but Stephan played great this week, and he’s a deserving champion.”

Defending champion Tony Finau collected six birdies in a 66 and finished in the tie for second with first-round co-leader Taylor Moore, who made three birdies on the front nine in a 67, Thomas Detry of Belgium, who made a late birdie to shoot 68, and Alejandro Tosti of Argentina, who had two birdies on each nine in another 68.  

Billy Horschel made four straight birdies on the front nine and seven altogether in a 64 and wound up two shots down in a tie for seventh with Aaron Rai of England, who had two late birdies in a 67, Max Greyserman, who made two birdies on each nine in another 67, and David Skinns of England, who had three birdies in a 69.

Fourth-ranked Wyndham Clark, the reigning U.S. Open champion, made four birdies in his first 10 holes en route to a 66, while Peter Malnati, who won the Valspar Championship last week, made the third hole-in-one of his PGA Tour career from 223 yards with a five-iron on his 16th hole in a 69 to finish in a tie for 36th.

The PGA Tour will remain in Texas this week for the Valero Texas Open this week on the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio before heading to Augusta National Golf Club for the Masters, the first major of the season, in Augusta, Ga.

For complete results, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard

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