Stephan Jaeger leads at Torrey Pines after eagle on final hole

Stephan Jaeger watches his tee shot on the seventh hole of the North Course at Torrey Pines.
Stephan Jaeger hits off the seventh tee during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Thursday. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Stephan Jaeger of Germany made a 35-foot eagle putt on his final hole for an eight-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark after the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Thursday.

Jaeger was at 12 under halfway through the tournament on the blufftop layout overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He started on the back nine of the easier North Course and leapfrogged Hojgaard with his eagle on the par-five ninth to sit atop a crowded leaderboard.

“Finishing like that, yeah, it was exciting,” said Jaeger, who birdied five of his first eight holes and had just one bogey.

He said he hit a good drive into the wind on his closing hole and then tugged his approach shot a bit.

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“I wanted it to kind of go middle of the green and I went right at it. It ended up landing just short of the pin and scooting kind of back fringe," he said. "Had a little downhill right-to-lefter about 35 feet and it ended up curling in. It was awesome to see.”

Jaeger shot a 68 on the South Course on Wednesday. He said his strong finish Thursday doesn't give him much momentum because the final two rounds are on the South Course.

“But it’s always nice to make eagles and birdies," said the 32-year-old Jaeger, who has been on tour since 2018 and is still looking for his first win. "Nobody can take those away from you. I’m pumped to play the South Course two more days. I love this place. This is probably one of my favorite tournaments every year.”

Hojgaard shot a bogey-free 66 on the North Course and was at 11 under. Thomas Detry of Belgium and Matthieu Pavon of France were 10 under after playing the South Course. Pavon played a consistent round of 65 with just one bogey while Detry had two bogeys in his final four holes for a 68.

Hojgaard, 22, is getting his first look at Torrey Pines after arriving Monday from Dubai. He shot a 67 on the South Course in the first round. His practice round Tuesday consisted of playing the back nine on the North Course.

“I feel like it’s been two solid days,” he said. “Played some really good golf, scrambled pretty well when I’ve been out of position and finished off with a nice par today. Feel like the driving has been quite solid. I still missed a few fairways on the par fives, which are the scoring holes, but overall very pleased with the game.”

Tony Finau (66, North Course) and Michael Kim (68, South) were nine under. Aaron Rei (70), Emiliano Grillo (69) and Joseph Bramlett (66) were all at eight under after playing the South Course.

San Diegan Xander Schauffele, ranked No. 5 in the world, was in a group of 13 at seven under after a 68 on the North Course.

The tournament wraps up Saturday to avoid being shown opposite the NFL conference championship games.

First-round leader Kevin Yu fell off the pace after a 74 on the South Course. World No. 6 Patrick Cantlay also had a rough day on the South Course with a 73. Both are at six under.

Defending champion Max Homa, ranked No. 7 in the world, shot a 70 on the North Course and was at four under. Hideki Matsuyama shot his first PGA Tour hole-in-one on the par-three eighth on the South Course during his round of 71.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.