BALL GROUND, Ga. – Former All-American Stephan Jaeger earned his way into the United States Open on Monday in sectional qualifying at Hawks Ridge Golf Club. Jaeger, a 2012 graduate of Chattanooga, shot 7-under to claim one of two spots into the grand championship.
Jaeger opened with a 67 (-5) and closed with 70. He was matched by amateur Alex Smalley, a rising junior at Duke.
He looked in trouble after bogeys on two and four in round two dropped the Munich, Germany, native and Chattanooga Baylor alum to 3-under. A birdie at the par-5 seventh moved him to 4-under and in contention.
Five straight pars preceded a classic Jaeger eruption. He birdied three consecutive holes to reach 7-under, following with three pars to clinch his spot.
Jaeger played in the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay Golf Club won by Jordan Spieth. He missed the cut, shooting rounds of 74 and 80, tying Rickie Fowler.
Steven Fox also recently played in the event in 2013 by virtue of his United States Amateur title in August 2012. His turn came at famed Merion Golf Club and he missed the cut by two as his 150 matched 2009 champion Stewart Cink.
Jaeger is currently No. 9 on the Web.com Tour money list. The top 25 finishers on the Web.com Tour earn PGA Tour status for 2018. He claimed the BMW Charity Pro Am title May 18-21 in Greenville, S.C., his first victory of the season and the second in as many years.
The United States Open is June 15-18 at Erin Hills in Erin Hills, Wis. It is not a site unfamiliar to the 3-time Southern Conference Golfer of the Year. Jaeger competed in the 2011 U.S. Amateur there, reaching match play and losing by one hole to 2011 NCAA champion John Peterson in the round of 32.