The Punter's De-brief: Jaeger hangs tough in Texas

Golfer Stephan Jaeger
Stephan jaeger with the Houston Open trophy

Stephan Jaeger has won for the first time on the PGA Tour and Keita Nakajima is off the mark on the DP World Tour. Steve Rawlings takes a look back on their victories here...

  • Nakajima impresses in India

  • Scheffler drifts in the Masters market

  • Read my Valero Texas Open preview here


  • Pre-event 70.069/1 chance, Stephan Jaeger, began the fourth and final round of the Houston Open tied for the lead and trading at 9.08/1.

    Fellow third round leaders, Thomas Detry and David Skinns, remained competitive for much of the final round and they were matched at as low as 5.04/1 and 7.413/2 in-running but it was the other two 54-hole co-leaders, Scottie Scheffler and Alejandro Tosti, that pushed the German the hardest, and as it so often does, it all came down to a couple of key putts.

    After back-to-back birdies at eight and nine, and pars at 10, 11 and 12, Jaeger made a quite brilliant par save on the tough par four 14th to retain a one-stroke advantage, and he'll look back at that save with much pride.

    Tosti, who was generally a 550.0549/1 chance before the off, impressed in-contention and he was matched at a low of 2.6213/8 when he drew alongside Jaeger with a birdie at the par five 16th but a bogey at the 18th, after a poor drive, saw his chance of victory ebb away and it we were ultimately left with a two-man tussle.

    The pre-event favourite, Scheffler, was matched at odds-on as early as Friday and he hit a low of 1.584/7 after a nice start on Sunday but he wasn't at his very best over the last three days and he was always up against it on the back-nine on Sunday.

    The world number one dropped a shot at the par three 15th following a poor tee-shot but he drew back level with a birdie at the par five 16th before missing two chances to take it to extra time at 17 and 18.

    Scheffler missed from 11 feet for birdie at 17 before this brilliant chance form five feet at 18 eluded him.

    Scheffler was bidding to win his third event in-a-row and he'll feel annoyed that he didn't achieve the feat. He traded at odds-on several times throughout the week and he really should have won.

    Nakajima cruises to first DP World Tour win

    Over on the DP World Tour, Japanese youngster, Keita Nakajima, who was a 50.049/1 chance before the off, traded at odds-on to win the Indian Open as early as Friday and after leading by two at halfway, he was trading at just 1.695/7 when he led by four with a round to go.

    That didn't look too short given the calibre of his nearest rivals and after he'd birdied his opening hole on Sunday, and three of the first six, defeat never looked likely.

    The 23-year-old leaked a bit of oil late on, bogeying the last three holes after a double-bogey at 14 and a birdie 15, but it didn't make any difference to the result.

    I'm sure he'd have preferred to have finished a little better but his one-over-par 73 in round four was still enough to see him win by four.

    He spoke after the win about his desire to make it to the PGA Tour by the end of the season and it's difficult to see him failing.

    Scheffler eases slightly in Masters market

    Ranking only 37th for Greens In Regulation and Strokes Gained: Putting last week, Scheffler didn't play as well as he'd done at Bay Hill and Sawgrass on his two previous outings and he will be particularly disappointed by Sunday's performance on the greens, when he ranked 72nd for SG: Putting.

    That slight slip from the stratospheric level that he'd been performing at previously has seen his price for the US Masters drift from a low of 5.39/2 to 5.85/1 and I suspect he may drift even further before he tees off at Augusta a week on Thursday.

    Scheffler isn't playing in the Valero Texas Open so if any of his market rivals perform well this week, the world number one will drift further.

    Rory McIlroy, who's the current second favourite to win the US Masters, is the favourite to win in Texas and the next two in the betting for the year's first major, last year's winner, Jon Rahm, and last year's runner-up, Brooks Koepka, both tee it up in the LIV Golf Miami event.


    Read my Valero Texas Open Preview here


    *You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


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