Photo by Gordon Seay
Stephan Jaeger of Germany rode an eagle to the top of the leaderboard.
The 34-year-old Jaeger, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour, sank a 35-foot eagle putt on his final hole to cap an eight-under-par 64 on the North Course at Torrey Pines Golf Couse in La Jolla to take a one-stroke lead over Nicolai Hojgaard (pictured) of Denmark midway through the 72nd version of the Farmers Insurance Open.
“Finishing like that, yeah, it was exciting,” said Jaeger, who has won six times on the Korn Ferry Tour. “I wanted it to kind of go middle of the green and I went right at it. It ended up landing just short of the pin and scooting kind of to the back fringe. I had a little downhill right-to-lefter from about 35 feet and it ended up curling in. It was awesome to see.
“But it’s always nice to make eagles and birdies. Nobody can take those away from you. I’m pumped to play the South Course for two more days. I love this place. This is probably one of my favorite tournaments every year.”
Every golfer in the field played the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines over the first two days, and after the 36-hole cut was made, the remaining two rounds will be played exclusively on the more challenging South Course.
Jaeger, who played college golf at Tennessee-Chattanooga, birdied five of his first eight holes before adding the eagle and two bogeys coming home against a single bogey while recording a two-round score of 12-unde-par 132.
Hojgaard, 22, collected six birdies in his bogey-free 66 on the North Course.
“I feel like it’s been two solid days,” said Hojgaard, who captured the 2023 DP World Tour Championship for his fourth pro victory but has yet to win on the PGA Tour. “I played some really good golf, scrambled pretty well when I’ve been out of position and finished off with a nice par today.
“I feel like the driving has been quite solid, but I still missed a few fairways on the par 5s, which are the scoring holes, though overall I’m very pleased with the game.”
Matthieu Pavon of France shot a brilliant 65 on the South Course and is two shots behind in a tie for third with Thomas Detry of Belgium, who made seven birdies in a 68 on the South, while Tony Finau had seven birdies in a 66 on the North and is three down in a tie for fifth with Michael Kim of San Diego and Cal, who holed out from 34 yards from a greenside bunker for an eagle while shooting 68 on the South.
Joseph Bramlett of Mountain View and Stanford carded a bogey-free 66 on the South and is four strokes behind in a tie for seventh with Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, who had four birdies on his front nine while shooting 69 on the South, and Aaron Rai of England, who made three birdies in his last seven holes in a 70 on the South.
Fifth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State had three birdies on each nine in a 68 on the North Course and is five shots behind in a huge tie for 10th that includes Hideki Matsuyama, who made a hole in one on the 154-yard eighth hole on the South Course in a 71; Charley Hoffman of Poway (67 on the North); Patrick Rodgers of Stanford (64 on the North; S.H. Kim of South Korea (68 on the North); Zac Blair (68 on the North); Maverick McNealy of Stanford (70 on the South); Chesson Hadley (70 on the South); Scott Stallings (70 on the North); Joe Highsmith of Pepperdine (67 on the North); Sami Valimaki of Finland (67 on the South), and Tom Whitney of La Quinta and the Air Force Academy (67 on the North).
Sixth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA is tied for 23rd after struggling to a 73 on the South, while seventh-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal shot 70 on the North and is tied for 50th.
For complete results and third-round tee times, visit:https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard