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Visit Knoxville Open returns with plenty of past champs and new venue

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The Visit Knoxville Open is a staple on the Korn Ferry Tour schedule. It was one of the original four tournaments from 1990 that remains on the developmental tour schedule, and it’s back this year after being one of 10 tournaments postponed because of COVID-19 pandemic – only this time, it also features a new venue.

After 21 years at Fox Den Country Club, the Visit Knoxville Open moves to Holston Hills Country Club, a Donald Ross-design that opened in 1927. Holston Hills is ranked No. 2 on Golfweek’s Best 2021 list of top private courses in Tennessee. It also ranks No. 98 on Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses list for all layouts built before 1960 in the United States.

A strong field this week includes six of the top 10 players in the Korn Ferry Tour points standings, including No. 1 Stephan Jaeger. Additionally, Jaeger is a past champion of the Visit Knoxville Open, having won by three shots in 2018.

Related: Five things to know about Visit Knoxville Open

Other notable past champions include three-time PGA Tour winners Jeff Maggert (1990) and J.J. Henry (2000) as well as Chris Kirk, who was born in Knoxville and who has charted an inspirational rise back from a personal struggle with alcoholism. Kirk was runner-up at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January and won the King & Bear Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour last summer.

The field includes 59 past Korn Ferry Tour winners with 88 total wins, led by Jaeger and Martin Piller, who each have six.

Jaeger, a four-time winner during his college career at Chattanooga, has much at stake at Holston Hills. A third win in this Korn Ferry Tour super season, after prevailing at the Albertsons Boise Open in August and the Emerald Coast Classic in April, would give Jaeger immediate promotion to the PGA Tour. Jared Wolfe, No. 12 in the points standings, is in the same boat.

The Tennessee ties don’t end with Jaeger. Among the 156 players in the field, 10 played college golf in the state. One of those men is Monday qualifier Bogle Larue, a Knoxville local who is currently a senior at Belmont University.

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/05/12/korn-ferry-tour-visit-knoxville-open-preview-stephan-jaeger/

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