LA QUINTA, Calif. --- Two former Chattanooga Mocs golfers
are shooting for the biggest prize of their careers beginning Wednesday. All-Americans
Stephan Jaeger (2009-12) and Jonathan Hodge (2006-09) are headed on the 108-hole
odyssey that is the final stage of PGA Qualifying School.
The top 25 eligible golfers (and ties) receive full membership
on the PGA Tour. The next 50 golfers earn Web.com Tour cards while everyone in
the field has conditional status on the Web.com Tour before teeing off. The
Web.com Tour is the direct feeding line to golf's biggest stage.
"It is very exciting to see guys who mean so much to me
personally and so much to our program have this opportunity," Head Coach Mark
Guhne said. "There are special young men and you have to be to get into that
top 25. The competition for those cards is fierce. Whether Hodge or Jaeger get
one of the 25 PGA cards (and ties) or are in the next 50 with full Web.com
status, it will be well-earned.
"We look forward to following their progress and rooting
them on this week."
Jaeger and Hodge battle a select field. There are former
major title winners: Todd Hamilton (2004 British Open Champ) and Shaun Micheel
(2003 PGA Champion). There are multiple PGA Tour winners (last tour win in
parenthesis): Daniel Chopra (2008 Mercedes-Benz Champ.), Glen Day (1999 MCI Classic),
Steve Flesch (2007 Turning Stone Resort Champ.), Len Mattiace (2002 FedEx St.
Jude Classic), Billy Mayfair (1998 Buick Open), Rod Pampling (2006 Bay Hill
Inv.), Chez Reavie (2008 Canadian Open), Heath Slocum (2010 McGladrey Classic),
Paul Stankowski (1997 United Airlines Hawaiian Open), Vaughn Taylor (2005
Reno-Tahoe Open), D.J. Trahan (2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Cl.) and Camilo Villegas (2010
There are notables from the European Tour. Those include:
Alex Cejka (4-time Euro Tour Winner), Ross Fisher (4-time winner on the Euro Tour)
and Robert Karlsson (11-time winner on Euro Tour).
Young up-and-coming pros look to join Hodge and Jaeger in
building their professional resumes. Those are names such as Patrick Cantlay
(2011 U.S. Open Low Am), Kelly Kraft (2011 U.S. Am Champ) and Scott Langley
(2010 NCAA Champion at the Honors Course).
The finals are November 28-December 3 at PGA West in La Quinta,
Calif. The field plays on both the TPC Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament courses.
Hodge leads off No. 1 at 8:50 a.m. (PST) paired with
Richard Johnson (4-time winner Web.com Tour) and Rafa Echenique (5-time
international winner). Jaeger tees off
No. 1 at 10:10 a.m. (PST) playing with Jeff Klauk (2012 PGA Tour member) and
Mark Anderson (2012 PGA Tour member). Both groups open on the Nicklaus
The progress of Jaeger and Hodge add to the lore of 2012
in Chattanooga Mocs golf history. This has by far been the best year in program's
UTC swept team and individual titles at the Southern
Conference Championship (April) and NCAA Bowling Green Regional (May) making
the team's second NCAA Championship appearance. Jaeger earned first team
All-American status claiming those two medalist honors as well as the 2011
Golfweek Conference Challenge in September 2011.
Liam Johnston (Tennant Cup) and Chris Robb (North-East District
Open) won over the summer in their native Scotland. Robb claimed his second
collegiate victory in October at the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate.
The crown jewel of a masterful year is the 2012 United
States Amateur win by Steven Fox in August. Fox survived a 17-man playoff for
14 spots just to reach match play. There he rode a hot putter and spectacular
wedge play to the title defeating Michael Weaver (Cal) in 37 holes coming back
from two down with two holes to play to claim the win at historic Cherry Hills
Fox was joined by Chris Williams (Washington) and Justin
Thomas (Alabama) in Turkey representing the United States at the World Amateur Team
Match Play. The trio brought home the Eisenhower Trophy for the first USA win
in the event since 2004.
Click the Q School link above to access the PGA Tour's
landing page for the event. The six-day tourney begins Wednesday, November 28,
and ends Monday, December 3. Follow @GoMocsMGLF on Twitter for updates at the
end of each round. Tag @GoMocsMGLF and hashtag #MocsFlyTogether to send well
wishes and encouragement to the duo.
GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs
can also be followed on their official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs, or on Twitter, www.twitter.com/GoMocs. Find out how to
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