REGION — Stephan Jaeger holds a one-stroke lead over Nicolai Hojgaard entering today’s third round of the $9 million Farmers Insurance Open after shooting an 8-under 64 on Torrey Pines Golf Course’s North Course.
Belgian Thomas Detry and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon are tied for third, two strokes off the lead.
Michael Kim, a Torrey Pines High School alum, and fellow American Tony Finau are tied for fifth, three strokes off the lead at 9-under 135.
Jaeger entered Thursday’s play among 15 golfers tied for 19th, four strokes off the lead, after firing a 4-under 68 on the South Course. The 34-year-old German who played college golf for Chattanooga from 2008-12 began his second round with back-to-back birdies on the 10th and 11th holes of the North Course, had consecutive birdies on the 15th through 17th holes, and completed the back nine at 5-under 31.
Jaeger had his lone bogey on the par-4 first hole, birdied the par-3 third and eighth holes and completed his round with an eagle on the 556-yard, par-5 ninth to go to 12-under 132 for the tournament.
This is the first time Jaeger has held or shared a 36-hole lead in his 129 starts on the PGA Tour.
Jaeger’s 64 matched the 64 shot by American Patrick Rogers for Thursday’s low round. Rogers is among 13 golfers tied for 10th at 7-under 137, five strokes off the lead.
Hojgaard shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 on the North Course with consecutive birdies on the fourth through seven holes, along with birdies on the par-4 13th and 16th holes.
“I feel like it’s been two solid days,” said Hojgaard, a 22-year-old Dane who shot a 5-under 67 on the South Course Wednesday. “I played some really good golf, scrambled pretty well when I’ve been out of position and finished off with a nice par on 18.
“I feel like the driving has been quite solid. I still missed a few fairways on the par-5s, which are the scoring holes, but overall I was very pleased with the game.
Detry had seven birdies and three bogeys for a 4-under 68 on the South Course. The 31-year-old former Illinois standout also had seven birdies in his opening round on Wednesday on the North Course for a 6-under 66 with one bogey.
Kim began Thursday’s play among 10 golfers three strokes off the lead at 5-under 67, then shot a 4-under 68 on the South Course.
Kim began his round Thursday on the par-4 10th hole, which he bogeyed, then birdied the par-4 14th and 17th holes and holed a 34-yard bunker shot for an eagle on the par-5 18th.
When asked where the shot ranked among his memories during his 199 PGA Tour starts, he said, “It’s definitely at least top-5.”
Kim had a birdie on the par-5 sixth hole and eight pars on the front nine Thursday.
“I know if I keep hitting the way I am, I’ll be right up there at the weekend,” said Kim, whose best finish in his previous seven starts in the tournament was tied for 23rd in 2018.
First-round leader Kevin Yu of Taiwan dropped into a 13-way tie for 23rd, six strokes off the lead, after a 2-over 74 on the South Course with five bogeys and three birdies.
Patrick Cantlay, who was a stroke behind Yu after the first round, is also among the golfers tied for 23rd.
San Diego State and Scripps Ranch High School alum Xander Schauffele, the 9-1 pre-tournament favorite, is among the 13 golfers tied for 10th at 7-under 137, five strokes off the lead, after a 4-under 68 on the North Course.
Schauffele is the fourth betting choice entering Friday’s play at 10-1 behind Jaeger (4-1), Hojgaard (9-2) and Finau (15-2), according to BetMGM, an official betting operator of the PGA Tour.
Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, is among the golfers tied for 10th. He aced the 165-yard eighth hole, his first hole-in-one in his 247 PGA Tour starts.
Charley Hoffman, a Poway High School alum, is also tied for 10th.
The initial field of 156 was reduced to 79 — the low 65 and ties — following the conclusion of the second round.
Golfers missing the cut included Collin Morikawa, the pre-tournament second choice at 10-1, who played the first two rounds at 2-under 142, including a 3-over 75 on the South Course Thursday; South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout, the runner-up at The American Express, who also played the first two rounds at 2-under.
Kevin Streelman withdrew with a back injury after playing the back nine of the South Course at 5-over 41 Thursday. He was among 18 golfers tied for 72nd, seven strokes off the lead, at 1-under through the first round.
The final two rounds will be played on the South Course. The tournament is set to conclude on Saturday. The winner will receive $1.62 million.