Stephan Jaeger finishes with flourish to take lead at Farmers

German’s eagle on final hole gives him top spot, with Shane Lowry losing ground after a round of 71

Germany’s Stephan Jaeger rolled in an eagle on his final hole to polish off an 8-under 64, vaulting himself into the second-round lead at the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday in San Diego.

Jaeger cruised around Torrey Pines’ North Course and made seven birdies and a single bogey. His birdie-eagle finish at the eighth and ninth holes got him to 12-under 132 through two rounds, enough for a one-stroke edge over Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard, who carded a 66 on the North Course.

The field is playing one round apiece at Torrey Pines’ North and South courses before the 36-hole cut. The famed South Course will stage the third and fourth rounds.

France’s Matthieu Pavon (65, South Course) and Belgium’s Thomas Detry (68, South Course) are tied for third at 10 under. Tony Finau (66, North Course) and Michael Kim (68, South Course) are knotted in fifth at 9 under.


Ireland’s Shane Lowry is part of a group further back on 5-under, having shot a second round of 71.

Jaeger, 34, is the world number 101 and has won six times on the Korn Ferry Tour but not on the PGA Tour yet. Should he win, he is projected to move to the top of the new “Aon Swing 5″ standings and therefore qualify for next week’s signature event, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

“The fruits of your labor kind of show up times and they show up at the right time as well,” Jaeger said. “To be able to be in this position is awesome. It’s going to be nerve-wracking, but it’s going to be awesome, so I can’t wait for this weekend.”

At the par-5 ninth, Jaeger’s second shot, in his words, scooted to the back fringe of the green.

“Had a little downhill right-to-lefter about 35 feet and it ended up curling in. It was awesome to see that,” Jaeger said.

Hojgaard went bogey-free with six birdies, while Pavon piled up eight birdies against one bogey. Pavon made the cut in his third straight event to start the season and now is projected for fourth place in the Aon Swing 5.

“I’m so happy to be here and to play in America for a year that I don’t really think about what can come if I play well and stuff like this,” Pavon said. “I just try to show up at every tournament and do my best.”

Kim grew up playing these courses and attended nearby Torrey Pines High School. He is also fighting for one of five qualifying spots for Pebble Beach.

On the par-5 18th hole (his ninth of the day), Kim hit his third shot out of a greenside bunker, from 34 yards, straight into the cup for eagle.

“Back when I played here as a kid, I don’t think I was able to reach (that green) in two,” Kim said. “Yeah, hit a really nice bunker shot. Came off a little faster than I really wanted, but hit the pin and went there for a nice eagle.”

Taiwan’s Kevin Yu was the first-round leader thanks to a 64 on the North Course, but he dropped back into a tie for 18th at 6 under after posting a 2-over 74 Friday on the South Course.

Notable names who missed the cut line of 3 under par were Sungjae Im of South Korea (2 under), Gary Woodland (2 under), Collin Morikawa (2 under), Billy Horschel (1 over), Michael Block (1 over) and Australian Jason Day (1 over).