Stephan Jaeger perce enfin, nouvelle motivation pour Scottie Scheffler

It has felt like a matter of when, not if, Stephan Jaeger would break through and earn a win on the PGA Tour.   That moment came in Houston on Sunday in what turned into a scene very few would have ever predicted.

Scottie Scheffler played a role in that unlikely scene. It was another masterclass from the man who was hunting for his third-straight win, but the putter let him down a handful of times, which came up costly. Speaking of the missed putts he’s been racking up in bunches, it could be the perfect time for him to turn any doubt into motivation.

Speaking of perfect time, we’re just two weeks out from the Masters. We’ll take a quick glance at what is on the preview menu as we lead up to the year’s first major championship.

Don’t Get It Twisted, Stephan Jaeger Earned His Win In Houston

Stephan Jaeger knows how to get the job done. He’s proven himself at multiple levels firing a 12-under 58 back in 2016 in a Tour event, earning six wins on the Korn Ferry Tour, and has picked up two Top 10s on the PGA Tour in 2024.

Sunday’s final round at the Texas Children’s Houston Open was an entirely different beast, however. Jaeger got a taste of the Sunday pressure earlier in the year during the Farmer’s Insurance Open, but the difference between that week and this week was he was going to have to take down World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler to find the winner’s circle.

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Nerves never seemed to be a factor for Jaeger on Sunday despite having to stare down Scheffler for five hours. Birdies on the third and fourth holes settled him into his round, and when ‘that moment’ arrived with a bogey on the Par 4 7th, he answered the call with back-to-back birdies to close out his opening nine.

Sometimes boring is all the golf gods ask of a player, and with nine pars over his final nine holes, Jaeger did just enough to squeeze out a one-shot victory over a total of five different players.

Jaeger began Sunday one of five players tied for the lead. Of the five players, Scheffler was the only one in the bunch who had a PGA Tour win under his belt. It felt inevitable that Scottie would yet again get the job done, but Jaeger had different plans.

Every first win on the PGA Tour moment is special, but it’s hard to imagine a more daunting one than taking down the best player in the world on the back nine on Sunday.

Scottie Scheffler Has A New Motivational Tool In The Bag

Scottie Scheffler is going to be kicking himself over two missed putts in particular this past week. 

Needing birdie at the last to get into a playoff with Jaeger, Scheffer left himself a great look just inside seven feet. He had the read, but didn’t manage to put enough pace on the ball in order for it to fall on that line. By no means was it a guaranteed make for Scheffler, especially given his putting woes over the past year or so, but it’s a putt the No. 1 ranked player in the world certainly makes more often than not.

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Missing a very makeable putt to force a playoff is always going to sting, but the worst putt of his week actually came on Friday.

After missing a par putt on the 18th green, Scheffler casually walked up to the 23-inch putt he had left to close out his round with a bogey. The putt caught the lip of the hole, however, leading Scheffler to make double bogey and snapping his record of 29 straight rounds of shooting under par.

The missed tap-in kept him out of the playoff on Sunday just as much as his miss on the 72nd hole.

Scheffler didn’t have a bad week on the greens in Houston by means of finishing 37th in the field in strokes gained: putting, but all he and the fans will remember are the two tournament-changing misses he suffered.

While it’s safe to assume he’s tried this approach amid some of his cold spells on the green, it could be time for Scheffler to look at the putter in his bag as a challenge, but in a lighthearted way.

Putting is already one of the great challenges in sports, but for Scheffler, he’s so beyond elite from tee to green that his worries on the course don’t start until he’s handed the putter.

It’s incredibly easy to overthink things when you’re struggling, but the fine line between overcompensating and undercompensating could be Scheffler making it a point to look at putting as an entirely different game in itself. 

For the season, Scheffler ranks 99th in strokes gained: putting. If he could work his way to around the 70 mark in that category, watch out.

The Masters Is So Close You Can Smell The Azaleas

The PGA Tour heads to San Antonio this week and LIV heads to Miami to play Trump National. While both events will be intriguing, all the actual intrigue centers around the tournament taking place in Augusta, Georgia the following week.

As for what’s to come here at OutKick in the lead up to the Masters, we’ll have you covered on the preview front. From top storylines, a deep dive into the field, players who can and cannot actually win the green jacket, and more is on the horizon.

OutKick’s Geoff Clark will have you covered in all things betting for Augusta as well as audio content on the OutKick Bets podcast.

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