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Houston Open winner has an emotional story about the meaning behind his 3 special ball markers

March 31, 2024
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Stephan Jaeger didn’t know he was going to win the Texas Children’s Houston Open, but he knew Sunday was going to be a good day.

The 34-year-old from Germany who moved to the U.S. when he was 17 has long been searching for his first PGA Tour victory. After shooting 69-66-66 the first three rounds at Memorial Park Golf Course, Jaeger found himself in Sunday’s final grouping with David Skinns and World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who was searching for his third consecutive victory.

Jaeger has three special ball markers that his wife Shelby had made for him. One has Fritz on it, a nickname for their 16-month-old son Harrison. The other says Phil, after their dog. The third says Papa Klaus, in honor of Jaeger’s father who passed away two years ago, the week of the Players Championship.

Before each round, Jaeger reaches into his bag and randomly selects one. The first three days? Fritz. The final round, he reached into the bag and pulled out Papa Klaus.

“He obviously passed away a couple years ago that week of the Players and that was a low part of my life, I was playing terrible golf,” Jaeger said Sunday after winning in Houston, topping Scheffler, Tony Finau and three others by a single shot. The victory now gets him into the remaining signature events, the Masters and the PGA Championship. “The silver lining in that story is my son was conceived that week. That was kind of you lose a life and you gain a life, right? He would be rolling over right now happy. Yeah, we miss him. And my mom's coming over next week, so we'll celebrate with her a little bit. Yeah, it will be great.

“It was my son the first three days and it was my dad today,” Jaeger said. “I just kind of smiled.

“That was my good omen for the day, for sure.”