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 embarking 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 earn Web.com Tour cards, while everyone in the field has conditional status on the Web.com Tour regardless of how they finish. The Web.com Tour is a feeder circuit for the PGA Tour.
“It is very exciting to see guys who mean so much to me personally and so much to our program have this opportunity,” UTC 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) and Shaun Micheel (2003 PGA). 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 Honda Classic).
There are notables from the European Tour. Those include Alex Cejka (four-time Euro Tour Winner), Ross Fisher (four-time winner on the Euro Tour) and Robert Karlsson (11-time winner on Euro Tour).
Other formerly successful amateurs in the field include 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 Nov. 28-Dec. 3 at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. The field plays on both the TPC Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament courses.