steele-feature

Brendan Steele Starts Season with a Safeway Open Win

Winning on the PGA TOUR is hard. Very, very hard. Patton Kizzire learned the hard way on Sunday.

Holding a 54-hole lead in search of his first victory on TOUR, Kizzire had to battle a soggy, rain-soaked Silverado course and a field of hungry PGA stars, including a tired but still high on Ryder Cup madness Phil Mickelson.

And then of course, there was Brendan Steele.

Steele himself had carried a 54-hole at this event in 2015, but a final round collapse took away any chance of capturing the trophy. This year, though, he found redemption.

Chasing but playing 2 groups ahead, Steele finished with a flurry, birdieing the last three holes to set a score at -18 for Kizzire, who’s putter kept him in it despite shaky ball-striking. He’d ultimately shoot a 70 on Sunday, but needed a 69 to force a playoff with Steele.

Steele proved once again that playing from the fairway and having a stellar short game will take you far, finishing the week T5 in Driving Accuracy, 6th in Strokes Gained/Putting and T1 in sand saves. The win is the second for the Californian, who now leads the FedExCup race. Okay, it’s week one, but still.

Mickelson’s 2016 season is finished, and though he still hasn’t net a PGA TOUR or worldwide win in over 3 years, he’s clearly trending in the right direction with a 69-69-69-67 performance at the Safeway Open. Coming off the 10-birdie Sunday
performance at the Ryder Cup, Phil hasn’t looked this sharp in years, and it certainly bodes well for his 2017 schedule.

Congratulations to Mr. Steele on opening the year with a bang, and keep up the good work. We’re off, everybody; let’s have some fun.

Brendan Steele’s Winning Clubs:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (Aldila Rogue Black 70 TX), 9.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M2, 15 degrees
5-wood: TaylorMade M2, 21 degrees
Irons (4): Wilson FG Tour F5; (5-PW): Wilson FG Tour 100
Wedges: Wilson FG Tour PMP (50 degrees); Titleist Vokey SM5 (58, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura X7

Image: PGA TOUR

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