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18D AGO

Golfbet recap: Stephan Jaeger holds off Scottie Scheffler for breakthrough win in Houston

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    Written by Brady Kannon @lasvegasgolfer

    In his 135th PGA TOUR start, Stephan Jaeger earned his first TOUR victory by holding off world No. 1 and pre-tournament favorite, Scottie Scheffler, at the Texas Children's Houston Open.

    A six-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour, Jaeger had gained some valuable experience on TOUR in 2024 with near-misses at the Farmers Insurance Open and the Mexico Open at Vidanta, finishing third in each. Sunday at Memorial Park Golf Course he got the job done, avoiding a playoff when Scheffler missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to hand Jaeger a one-shot victory.

    Scheffler's putting overall was very good for the tournament, but in Sunday's round, he was losing over 1.5 strokes to the field with the flat stick, ranking 72nd out of 83 players in the field. That trend reared its head on the final green – where he had had a sloppy three-putt double bogey to end the second round – as Scheffler’s bid for three straight wins came up one shot short. He finished the week at 11-under, tied for second with four others including defending champ Tony Finau.

    Jaeger's odds to win Texas Children’s Houston Open (via BetMGM Sportsbook)

    • Pre-tournament: +5000
    • Entering Round 2 (T46, trailed by 5): +8000
    • Entering Round 3 (T4, trailed by 4): +1600
    • Entering Round 4 (Co-leader): +650

    The final round began with five players tied for the lead at 9 under, including Jaeger and Scheffler. Heading into the final round, Scheffler was in the familiar position of favorite at +140 after starting the week at +300 or shorter. Grouped with Scheffler and Englishman David Skinns (+1600), Jaeger was listed at +650.

    Scoring conditions were favorable despite the steady 15 mph breeze that we had seen as ever-present throughout the four days of the tournament. With the majority of the leaderboard through just four or five holes, Scheffler and Jaeger had pulled ahead to 11-under. All camping inside the top-10 on the leaderboard, 13 players were now within four shots of the lead or fewer – but Scheffler had moved to an odds-on favorite at -111 to win his third tournament in as many starts. Billy Horschel shot the low round of the day, a 64, good enough for a 10-under finish and a tie for seventh place on a day when 54 players broke par.

    Roughly halfway through the final round, Thomas Detry had moved into sole possession of the lead at 11-under while Scheffler and Jaeger had fallen back. Seventeen players were now making up the top 14 in the field, none of whom were further than four shots off Detry’s pace. The back nine at Memorial Park was set up to provide a dramatic finish as the leaderboard looked like a car race with players trading places and jockeying for position.

    Pre-tournament outright picks from Golfbet Experts

    • Ben Everill: Sahith Theegala (+2000) T28
    • Will Gray: Mackenzie Hughes (+5000) T14
    • Chris Breece: Wyndham Clark (+1200) T31
    • Matt DelVecchio: Sahith Theegala (+2000) T28
    • Rob Bolton: Scottie Scheffler (+300) T2
    • Mike Glasscott: Scottie Scheffler (+300) T2

    Despite shooting even par on the back side, Jaeger found himself back in the lead through 11 holes at 12-under par. Scheffler was a shot back and remained the favorite at +160 while Jaeger was the second choice at +240.

    TOUR rookie Alejandro Tosti had made his way into a tie for the lead but found trouble on his final hole with a wayward tee shot. His chip from off the green went 18 feet past the pin and he made his first bogey since the second hole. Detry missed a 9-footer for birdie on 17, to keep him at 11-under.

    Jaeger saved some of his best work off the tee for the final day, as he ranked No. 1 in the field on Sunday for Driving Distance and was sixth for Strokes Gained: Off the Tee. For the tournament, Jaeger finished third overall for SG: Putting, gaining nearly six-and-a-half shots on the field with the putter.

    Act 2 in Texas, and the final stop before the season's first major, takes place at the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio. It is the Valero Texas Open, and Canadian Corey Conners is your defending champion.

    Rory McIlroy headlines the field next week, where he’ll be joined by former Valero winners Jordan Spieth (2021) and Adam Scott (2010) along with former Texas Tech star Ludvig Åberg. Also teeing it up are Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Max Homa and Collin Morikawa. The weather forecast looks similar in San Antonio to what we saw this week in Houston – temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s with winds anywhere from 10-20 mph.

    Rob Bolton Golfbet Insider and Sleeper Picks results

    • Mackenzie Hughes to Win (+5000) T14
    • Taylor Moore Top 5 (+900) T2
    • Akshay Bhatia Top 10 (+500) T11
    • Martin Laird Top 20 (+600) T31
    • Tom Whitney Top 40 (+333) MC
    • Chandler Phillips Top 40 (+140) T45
    • Rafael Campos Top 20 (+800) MC
    • Tom Hoge, Mackenzie Hughes and Stephan Jaeger all Make Cut (+175) T14/T14/WIN
    • Sam Bennett Top 40 (+200) T72
    • Cole Hammer Top 40 (+300) MC
    • Jake Knapp Top 20 (+200) MC
    • Martin Laird Top Scot (+130) T31
    • Victor Perez Top 20 (+350) T17
    • Jhonattan Vegas Top 40 (+230) T36
    • Carson Young Top 40 (+160) MC

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