University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Stephan Jaeger executed an almost impossible shot to save his round and win medalist honors Tuesday at the GolfWeek Conference Challenge at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington Iowa.
Jaeger, who prepped at Baylor School, birdied the final hole after his drive found a water hazard on the par-5 18th. He chopped out of a riverbank and laced a 5-iron from 190 yards and sank a 30-foot putt to beat Josh Eure of Arkansas by one stroke.
"It was a bad-to-terrible lie and I got it out about 30 yards and still made birdie," Jaeger said. "I wanted to just give myself a chance. All week I played well and putted well, which is a good week for me."
Jaeger's 7-under 209 helped the Mocs finish runners-up to the Razorbacks and one stroke better than 2011 national semifinalist Oklahoma State. Only the Razorbacks shot under par as a team Tuesday. UTC shot 8 over to finish the tournament at 2-over 866 for three rounds.
UTC's Benni Weilguni tied for 11th at 217 and fellow sophomore Chris Robb tied for 31st at 223. Junior Steven Fox tied for 37th and freshman Liam Johnston tied for 46th.
"We've never beat Oklahoma State before, and it's good to beat those highly ranked teams," Jaeger said. "That gives us a lot of confidence for the future."
Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee State was named the Golfweek.com national team of the week and Blue Raiders senior Hunter Green from Rhea County was the player of the week for their wins in the Mason Rudolph Challenge.
Locals atop state
Chattanooga-area residents retain a tight lead on the Tennessee Senior Women's Amateur at Signal Mountain Golf & Country Club, which is being played as a par-72.
Signal Mountain resident Debbie Durham shot a 10-over 81 in the second round Tuesday and vaulted into the lead at 13 over. Chattanoogan Georgia McCravey, who won in 2009, and defending champion Maggie Scott of Charleston are tied for second, three shots back. Linda Mullins of Cleveland is five shots behind Durham.
"I'm very excited but I wish I were playing better," Durham said. "Maggie and Georgia are the ones to beat. I hope I can do it."