Thu, 21 Oct 2021

Germany's Stephan Jaeger made a hole-in-one on the way to shooting a six-under par 66 for a one-stroke lead after Thursday's opening round of the PGA Tour's Corales Puntacana Championship.

World number 221 Jaeger aced the 239-yard par-3 second hole with an 8-iron and added five birdies against a lone bogey at the Dominican resort.

That left him one stroke ahead of Americans Andrew Yun and Joel Dahmen with Puerto Rico's Rafael Campos and Americans Sam Ryder, Mark Anderson, Justin Suh, Adam Schenk and Nate Lashley sharing fourth on 68.

"I didn't really make that many mistakes off the tee and kept the ball on the greens," Jaeger said. "If I did miss a green, it was in the right spot and got it up and down."

It's the 60th PGA start for Jaeger, a developmental tour veteran whose season showing last year booked him into four PGA 2021 events played opposite WGC tournaments, with top players competing at this week's WGC Match Play Championship in Texas.

Jaeger, who opened on the back nine, birdied the par-5 12th and answered his lone bogey at the par-4 16th with a birdie at the par-3 17th.

The 31-year-old from Munich's ace marked the tournament's first at the second hole and only the fifth in its history.

"I haven't had a hole-in-one probably since college. It has been a long time, especially in a tournament," Jaeger said.

"I actually thought I hit it a little too long and it ended up kind of hitting soft and rolling down there and then disappeared. It was a pretty cool. It's a lot easier than putting, that's for sure."

After his hole-in-one, Jaeger birdied the par-5 fourth and seventh holes as well as the par-4 sixth.

"The back nine was solid. It wasn't anything special, but I got kind of hot," Jaeger said. "There's so much golf left, so much windy golf. So I'm happy to be here. My game feels good."

Dahmen, who has missed the cut in six of his past seven starts, and Yun each had bogey-free rounds in quest of a first PGA title, as is Jaeger.

Leading scores after Thursday's first round of the PGA Tour's Corales Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic (USA unless noted, par 72):

66 - Stephan Jaeger (GER)

67 - Joel Dahmen, Andrew Yun

68 - Nate Lashley, Adam Schenk, Justin Suh, Sam Ryder, Rafael Campos (PUR), Mark Anderson

69 - Charley Hoffman, Tyler Duncan, Padraig Harrington (IRL), Fabian Gomez (ARG), Thomas Pieters (BEL), Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR), Joseph Bramlett, Jonathan Byrd, Sebastian Cappelen (DEN)

Source: News24

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