May 20, 2023
Rochester, New York, USA
Oak Hill Country Club
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Stephan, 1-under 69 today. How did it go out there for you?
STEPHAN JAEGER: It was pretty wet until about 16 and then the rain stopped. The leaders got about 12 holes of nice weather. It was one of those days where if I don't putt good, it's going to be a 5-over. Simple as that.
I actually didn't hit it that great. Got away with some things, and the putter bailed me out a lot today, which was nice. Didn't putt good the first two days.
Yeah, it was a great day. Obviously I would have taken 1-under when the day started with the rain and while it was going about 40 yards shorter and doesn't get any roll. The golf course played much longer today.
Q. What's it like early in the day in your preparation, does any of that change when you know what the forecast is? What's the general mindset on a day you know it's going to be like that?
STEPHAN JAEGER: Honestly, I just try to do the same thing, hit the same amount of balls and putted beforehand. I did take my rain jacket off after 2 just because I felt like -- playing with a rain jacket is hard. We really don't do it much on this tour. So I took it off and tried to stay under the umbrella and actually didn't get that wet, which was nice.
It was just one of those days you needed about eight hands. Caddies, too. My boy helped out a lot today, which was nice.
Q. In general being in this position at a major, you're going to have a shot tomorrow, obviously 18 holes to go. What does it mean to put yourself in this position?
STEPHAN JAEGER: Yeah, it's exciting. I've been playing good the last couple months, even this year. Been really solid. Putter hasn't really showed up. Last couple weeks I found the putter on the weekend, which was nice.
More of the same. This place, if you don't hit the fairways, especially today with the rough being wet, it's nasty. I think a lot more fairways tomorrow would be lovely, but a lot less stress.
But it's going to be soft tomorrow. So depending on I think the weather is going to be pretty nice, so the scores may be a little lower tomorrow.
Q. How much effort is expended to staying dry? You've seen a lot of other players taking the jacket on, jacket off, hat turned backwards. How much effort do you really expend getting that done?
STEPHAN JAEGER: A lot. I would wipe my brim because I don't want putting dropping down the water. Immediately after you hit the shot you give it to your caddie under the umbrella, they put it in. They do most of the work, but especially with the driver you don't really want water on the club face because the ball could go anywhere. Any wood, honestly.
It's a lot of effort. I think I'm going to feel it here in a little bit once I sit down and calm down. I think the adrenaline will wear off a little bit, and I'm going to be pretty tired. It's a lot of thinking, a lot of golf course out there with the rain. But super happy with what we dealt with today.
Q. Is that discussed beforehand, or do you and the caddie just know what to do?
STEPHAN JAEGER: I think everybody -- I've played in plenty of rain and he's caddied in plenty of rain. I think as long as the grips are dry and the club face is dry when you hit, that's pretty much all you can do. I think we had seven towels in the bag today. Seven. Just in case if one gets wet, you get a new one that's dry. I'm sure the bag weighed about 70 pounds today, which is not fun to carry around.
Q. Do you ever go out in the rain and play at home just to do it?
STEPHAN JAEGER: No.
Q. As you look toward tomorrow, it's going to be drier, obviously. Is it easier or more difficult to chase on a tougher golf course?
STEPHAN JAEGER: Well, like I said, I think it may be a little easier tomorrow. I don't know what the wind is supposed to be -- I haven't looked that up. But honestly, this golf course is pretty simple to figure out. You have to hit the fairway, otherwise you're literally going to try to chip and pitch for par every hole.
If I do that tomorrow, my putter is kind of starting to warm up a little bit, and my iron game was nice here the last couple holes.
I'm just going to try to play my best tomorrow. If I've got to shoot 5-, 6-under, that's great, and we'll see what we can do tomorrow.
Q. Have you been driving it pretty well?
STEPHAN JAEGER: I have, yeah, mm-hmm. Not today. Today was a little tougher. I missed some fairways today. I hit some important ones, though, 17, 18. If you're in the rough there, I don't think you can physically get to the green. I can't.
I did miss 14 with a 4-iron today, so that was fun. That was probably the worst lie I've had all week.
Like I said, if you hit the fairways you can score some, especially with the greens being receptive. But you've got to do that first.
Q. Is there anything in particular that's been better with your putter? Have you changed putters or technique or anything?
STEPHAN JAEGER: No. Honestly, I think the first couple days I was still getting a little used to the speed. If I look up and I'm not 100 percent positive how hard I have to hit it or like if it comes off the putter hot on a 10-footer and you've got four feet coming back, it's not fun, all day long.
Just kind of getting more comfortable with the speed. They were a little slower today. Other than that, I haven't changed anything, no.
Q. When did you know you would be in the field here?
STEPHAN JAEGER: I knew Sunday night. I got a hold of John and texted him to see if he was playing or not, so I kind of did some planning before it came out officially on Monday. It was nice to kind of get that call. I played good last week, so it was nice to kind of keep the momentum going. Glad to be here for sure.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports