–Photo by Gordon Seay
Stephan Jaeger of Germany didn’t play his best, but kept his place atop the leaderboard.
The 33-year-old Jaeger (pictured), seeking his first PGA Tour victory, sank a sis-foot birdie putt on the last hole to cap a one-over-par 73 and take a one-stroke lead over Matthieu Pavon of France and Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark to the final round of the 72nd Farmers Insurance Open on the South course at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla.
“I’m super happy with how (I) mentally kind of attacked the golf course in different places now,” said Jaeger, who . “I didn’t have my best stuff, so I’d love to putt a little better, hit a little more fairways (in the final round). But its golf.
“I remember Brooks (Koepka) saying that like he just does his stuff in majors and all of a sudden here comes Sunday afternoon, and he’s there. That’s so much harder done than said. Like I said, it’s definitely something I’ve done before, but I’m going to lean on stuff I’ve been really working on the last six months or a year in the final round.”
Jaeger, who won six times on the Korn Ferry Tour, had five birdies and six bogeys in his third round while recording a 54-hole score of 11-under-par 205 afte4 opening with rounds of 68 and 64.
Pavon had three birdies and three bogeys in a 72, while Hojgaard bounced back from two early bogeys to salvage a 73.
“It is always nice to start the season the right way,” said Pavon, who has won times as a pro but not yet on the PGA Tour. “For me, it has some value to start the season well, to finish it exactly the same thing. … Starting well gives you a little bit of confidence, let’s say, and I’m really happy with the position I am so far.”
Said Hojgaard: “It’s easy on a day like this to get ahead and think: ‘Oh, we’ve got chances there.’ You’ve got to stay in the moment. I’ve done it before and now I’ve got a chance on the PGA Tour, so if it happens tomorrow or not, it isn’t really going to affect me too much. I’ve got my focus on a long process of it all.”
Thomas Detry of Belgium made a double-bogey 7 on the last hole to cap 73 and is two shots back in solo fourth, while Taylor Pendrith of Canada birdied the last hole for a 69 and is three behind in a tie for fifth with Trace Crowe, who had two late birdies in another 69, Jake Knapp and Taylor Montgomery, who both shot 70, and Joe Highsmith of Pepperdine, who birdied the last hole for a 71.
Fifth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State birdied the last hole for a 72 and is four strokes down in a big tie for 10th with Ryan Brehm (68), Will Zalatoris (68), Ludvig Aberg of Sweden (69), Robby Shelton (70), Parker Coody (71), Maverick McNealy of Stanford (72), Emiliano Grillo of Argentina (73) and Tony Finau (74).
Max Homa of Valencia and Cal, the Farmers defending champion, is tied for 27th after making birdies on the last three holes for a 71, while sixth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA struggled to a 74 and is tied for 38thw
For complete results and final-round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard