It is not uncommon for big-league baseball players to experience some rejuvenation after a trip down to the minors.
Perhaps that could be in store for Stephan Jaeger.
Where the four Baylor School alumni rank this week on the PGA Tour money list:
16. Luke List: $2,477,595
93. Keith Mitchell: $805,958
108. Harris English: $614,890
170. Stephan Jaeger: $208,120
The former Baylor School and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga golfer has experienced somewhat of a rocky ride during his first season on the PGA Tour. Jaeger was not extended an invitation to The Players Championship last weekend, so he made a one-week return to the Web.com Tour and won the Knoxville Open by three strokes.
"It's always easier when your game is where you want it to be, and I just needed a different feel," Jaeger said. "I wanted to get some momentum, because I'm such a big momentum player who gets hot for a couple of weeks and can ride that wave. That's what I want to do this next month or two.
"I want to be successful out there and get a piece of the action on a Saturday or Sunday. I know that I can compete out there. My goal for the rest of the year is to just get into contention and to feel some good, positive stress."
Jaeger will be competing this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic in Dallas. The 28-year-old Chattanooga resident will be seeking to snap a streak of four consecutive PGA Tour missed cuts, having not played the weekend at the Houston Open, the Valero Texas Open, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the Wells Fargo in Charlotte.
Those recent struggles have dropped the German-born Jaeger to a season-low ranking of 163rd in the FedEx Cup standings (116 points).
"My season so far has been very, very mediocre," he said. "Honestly, I actually played really good in the fall, but I wasn't making the putts that you need to really compete. There are times on the Web when you can get away with it when you're not hitting it as well as you want to, but on the PGA Tour you've got to be able to ball-strike it."
Jaeger ranks last in FedEx points among the current Baylor alumni on the PGA Tour, with Luke List currently 15th (1,002 points), Keith Mitchell 79th (373) and Harris English 103rd (287). He also is last among the quartet in season earnings, having made $208,120.
This season did start well for Jaeger, who had three top-30 finishes through his first five events. In the opening Safeway Open last October in Napa, Calif., Jaeger tied for 30th, and at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in November in Las Vegas he tied for 20th.
Jaeger's highest PGA Tour finish so far in the 2018 calendar year was tying for 43rd at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, but he is hoping last week's change of scenery will change his fortunes the rest of this season. He has missed eight of his last 11 cuts on the PGA Tour after making the cut in five of his first six events.
Last week's win in Knoxville marked the fourth career Web.com triumph for Jaeger, who finished seventh last year on the Web.com money list.
"I feel comfortable out here, which is great, but I would like to feel that way on the PGA Tour as well," Jaeger said. "Obviously it's easier to do that when you're playing well and you're feeling great about your golf game, and I felt that last year.
"I haven't felt positive about my game this whole season so far. I know my game can translate."
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.