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October 8, 2017 – Brendan Steele – Safeway Open

By: Global Golf Post

So it’s maybe not as impressive as what Tiger Woods did at Bay Hill or Torrey Pines but Brendan Steele and the Safeway Open at Silverado have become a thing.

Steele’s victory Sunday was his second consecutive win in the season-opening event and, were it not for a disappointing final round in 2015, Steele could be riding a three-peat, having held the 54-hole lead two years ago.

SteeleWin1Steele wasn’t perfect in the final round. Two back-nine bogeys opened the door for other players, particularly Tony Finau, but Steele steadied himself and started a new season in the best possible way.

Perhaps the most important shot in Steele’s final round was a 7-foot bogey putt on the 14th hole, minimizing the damage just moments after Finau had ruined his Sunday afternoon by making a double bogey at the short par-4 14th when he had a share of the lead.

“That was huge,” Steele said. “I was just making a complete mess and that putt felt as good as any.”

Steele then gave himself a cushion with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 16th to help secure another season-opening win.

M2-17_DRV_3quarter“It was a good springboard for me last year. It propelled me to my best season yet,” Steele said. “I held myself back trying to get to the Tour Championship so it was nice to get restarted here and get everything back to zero.”

Tyler Duncan, who earned his PGA Tour card on Monday and teed it up at Silverado in only his second Tour event, was the story of the tournament through Saturday as he led or shared the lead each of the first three rounds. In more difficult conditions on Sunday, Duncan struggled, making bogeys on five of his first eight holes to fall out of serious contention.

Phil Mickelson forced himself into the storyline Sunday afternoon, making five birdies in his final 11 holes to push the leaders. Mickelson got within one stroke of Steele’s lead as he chased his first victory since the 2013 Open Championship. A bogey at the 17th hole ultimately ended Mickelson’s bid.

M2-17_FWY_3quarter“It was fun to be in the mix,” Mickelson said. “It’s easy to see the ball starting on the right line, iron play is back, distance control, putting … the game has just come back.”

Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (9.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Rogue 110 MSI 70X

3 Wood: Taylormade 2017 M2 HL (16.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Aldila 2KNV Blue 80TX

Driving Irons: Callaway Apex UT (21 Degrees), Wilson Staff FG Tour V4 (4 iron, 24 Degrees)
Shaft: Aerotech Steelfiber i110cw

Vokey SM6Irons: Wilson Staff FG Tour 100 (5-PW)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Wilson Staff FG Tour (50-08), Titleist Vokey SM6 (58-08 M-Grind, 60-04 L-Grind)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Scotty Cameron X7 Circle T
Grip: Garsen G-Pro Max

Republished with permission by Global Golf Post.