Stephan Jaeger blistered his final nine holes on the acclaimed Corales course en route to a first-day 66 and a one-shot lead at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.
Jaeger, who opened his round on the resort course’s back nine, got off to something of a pedestrian start, sandwiching two birdies between a bogey to turn on 1-under 35. The 31-year-old German, though, surged up the leaderboard with a sizzling bogey-free homeward set of 5-under 31, which featured three birdies and a highlight-reel ace, to secure the marquee position on 6-under par.
“Yeah, obviously 1’s don’t really add up too quickly, so that was a good start of the back nine,” joked Jaeger, who holds the lead for the first time in his PGA Tour career.
“I played solid on the front, my front, the back nine. I think it’s a little tougher with this wind. I think the easier holes play a little tougher and 18 obviously is a tough hole.
“Got off to a good start on the back nine, my back nine, and took care of the par 5s and hit a couple good shots. Had a good up-and-down on 6 for par from like 80 yards.”
One off the pace was the duo of Joel Dahmen and Andrew Yun, who carded matching 67s.
Nate Lashley was among a group of six players tied on 4-under 68, one clear of Charley Hoffman, Padraig Harrington, and Thomas Pieters, who headlined another logjam of nine players at 3-under 69.
All three past Corales Puntacana Resort & Club champions (Hudson Swafford, Graeme McDowell, Brice Garnett) were T19 on 2-under 70.
Leaderboard: Top 10
Pos-Player-To Par (Score)
1. Stephan Jaeger -6 (66)
2. Joel Dahmen -5 (67)
2. Andrew Yun -5 (67)
3. Rafael Campos -4 (68)
3. Sam Ryder -4 (68)
3. Adam Schenk -4 (68)
3. Nate Lashley -4 (68)
8. Justin Suh -4 (68)
8. Mark D. Anderson -4 (68)
Unfortunately, the PGA Tour does not seem to have captured the ace by Jaeger, but here are some other decent shots from round 1 of the 2021 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.