No golfer in the history of the sport had ever shot a 58 on a major professional tour in the United States — until last week.
Stephan Jaeger of Germany achieved the feat and set several other records during the first round of the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic in Hayward, Calif. Now Jaeger hopes that solid play carries over to the Digital Ally Open, which runs today through Sunday at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate.
“Obviously I feel good about my golf game and want to keep it going,” Jaeger said after his record-setting round. “I don’t want to lose that confidence.”
Jaeger made 12 birdies and six pars last Thursday on the par-70 TPC Stonebrae course in breaking the record for lowest score in a round on the Web.com Tour. Notah Begay III, Doug Dunakey, Jason Gore, Will Wilcox and Russell Knox shared that record at 59, which also has been shot six times on the PGA Tour and once on the PGA Tour Champions.
Jaeger also broke the Web.com Tour records for low score after 36 holes (123), 54 holes (187) and 72 holes (250). Those scores are all lower than the PGA Tour record.
The only previous 58s in pro golf history were shot by Jason Bohn in 2001 on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada and Ryo Ishikawa in 2010 on the Japan Tour.
“If you shoot 58, you’re going to have to putt lights-out,” Jaeger said. “If you shoot that kind of number, every part of your game is going to be good.”
With his victory, Jaeger jumped from 102nd to 20th on the Web.com Tour money list with $139,793 in earnings this season. The top 25 players on the list at the end of the season get PGA Tour cards for next season.
Jaeger, who played at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, has made the cut in six of his last seven tournaments after missing twice in a row during the spring, but his previous best finish was a tie for 11th at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in June.
“I’ve been consistent, but I just haven’t gotten it done on Saturday or Sunday and that’s obviously where you make the money,” he said. “The money list doesn’t show the way I’ve played. I’ve played solid, but I just haven’t gotten it done on the weekends.”
Jaeger said he is going to change very little this week at LionsGate since he has seen the course before.
“I’m going to do the same thing as every week, it’s not like I’ll change my routine up,” he said.
Jaeger’s challengers this week include Brice Garnett of Gallatin, Mo., who regularly plays on the PGA Tour; Wesley Bryan, who leads the Web.com tour in earnings at $332,392; and former tournament champions James Nitties, who won here in 2011, and Zack Sucher, who was first in 2014.
Tom Smith: 816-234-4240
What: Digital Ally Open
When/where: Thursday through Sunday at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate
Tickets: Tickets cost as little as $10 and will be available at the gate. People who buy tickets in advance at daopen.org can choose the charity they would like to benefit. The tournament’s beneficiaries are primarily fallen first responder organizations such as S.A.F.E., Concerns of Police Survivors and National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, as well as Children’s Mercy Kansas City.
Parking: Shuttles will run to the course from Blue Valley Recreation Complex at 137th Street and Antioch in Overland Park.