Stephan Jaeger bombed the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club during the Signal Mountain Invitational this weekend.
Jaeger, a German-born University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior golfer, cruised to victory in the 75th anniversary Signal Mountain Invitational.
He broke the tournament record by an astounding five strokes on Sunday with a total score of 17-under-par 196 afternoon in cold, windy and misty conditions on the mountain.
“I’ve been practicing all semester, and we prepare for conference regional and nationals and every week,” Jaeger said. “I’ve been practicing to get better and it came together. I just got it all together.”
Jaeger shot a final-round of 2-under-par 69 which was preceded by a 63 on Friday and 64 on Saturday.
Former record holders Ira Templeton and Ed Brantly never went that low — that bombing low — and had shared the record at 12-under 201 until Sunday. Jaeger adds his name to the list of champions which includes Danny Green, Lew Oehmig, Michael Morrison, Harold Lane, King Oehmig.
“I’m really proud of myself and I’m sure I realize what I did in the next few days,” Jaeger said. “I kept myself in there and kept my head up.”
UTC sophomore Steven Fox shot 67 on Sunday, 203 for the weekend, and finished in second place about 48 hours before the Mocs head to Colorado for an NCAA regional tournament which begins Thursday.
“I always like playing here and it’s a fun tournament,” said Fox, who began his round with an eagle on No.1. “I played well. My putter struggled at times, but it got the job done.
“Playing good here shows that I can shoot low numbers and gives me confidence that we can advance from regionals to nationals.”
Former pro Chris Schmidt and UTC freshman Chris Robb tied for third. Former Lee University golfer Brandon Cissom and UTC freshman Davis Bunn tied for fifth at 4 under par. Neil Spitalny won the senior division title at 2 under.
“Stephan probably had it tougher today because he had such a large lead and he had legends looming,” Schmidt said. “He had that legend to live up to. I grew up playing with those guys.”
Jaeger’s final round began with a bomb. He birdied the first two holes. He shot 3 under on the front nine including a sand-save birdie on the par-5 ninth hole.
His biggest mistake of the tournament occurred on No. 11, a drivable 288-yard par-4. His tee shot sailed way right, on the cart path where it came to a stop for a second. Then a gust of wind blew it out of bounds. Jaeger made double-bogey there and had only three other bogeys in the tournament.
Then Jaeger cruised for the rest of the day, making a birdie on the short par-5 13th hole and parring out the rest of the holes. His tap-in on 18 drew an ovation from an ever-growing gallery.
That gallery saw history.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...