Jaeger leads Chattanooga to victory
Texas A&M, UCLA, Va. Tech and Memphis clinch finals berths
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Stephan Jaeger and Chattanooga swept the individual and team crowns at the Bowling Green Regional on Saturday to win the first NCAA postseason titles in program history.
Jaeger was fantastic from start-to-finish in firing a career-best 203, 13-under par. His first two cards of 70 and 65 were followed by a six-under par 66 in the final round to win by four shots against UCLA's Pedro Figueiredo.
His 66 paced UTC to a four-under 284, the low round of the day. It gave the Mocs (859) a one-shot win against Texas A&M (860) and four shots ahead of UCLA (863), which led the first two days. Virginia Tech (874) and Memphis (876) rounded out the top five which are the schools that advance to the NCAA Championship.
It wasn't easy. The Aggies surged early, while the Bruins roared back in the middle of the round. The three schools were tied at two-under shortly after the teams completed the turn at hole No. 9.
As Jaeger went back-to-back with birdies on 11 and 12, Steven Fox did the same at 13 and 14. As Fox's birdie dropped on 14, news circulated that Davis Bunn tallied a hole-in one on the difficult par-three 16th. He sunk an eight iron from 189 yards out for the ace.
Liam Johnston and Chris Robb took over from there. Johnston birdied 17 and ended his day at one-over par 73. Robb birdied three of the last four holes to tie Bunn in the house at 74.
That gave the Mocs a three-shot cushion which was key because the Aggies were not going away. Tyler Dunlap posted birdies on 15 and 16 which coupled with Jaeger's bogey on 16, pulled Texas A&M even with two groups on the course.
Jaeger scored a reversal on the 17th, however. His chip in birdie and Dunlap's bogey put Chattanooga back up by two.
Fox's tee shot on 18 went right and his unplayable lie in the high grass added to the suspense. But the junior made bogey to keep the Mocs in front by one. It came down to Jaeger and Dunlap. Jaeger was just off the front of the green in two on the par five, while Dunlap was well to the right in the deep rough.
Dunlap's chip put him in business for birdie, while Jaeger chipped up to around six feet from the hole. Dunlap rolled in his nine-footer for his four turning the drama over to Jaeger. He lived up to his status as the top-ranked player in the field nailing the putt for the one-stroke team win.
Fox finished tied for third at 211. His course record 64 the previous day still had the assembled throng of locals and school fans buzzing. Robb tied for 26th at 222, while Johnston was two shots back at 224. Bunn ended up with a total of 233.