Brendan Steele Wins The Safeway Open
Napa, California – They say revenge is sweet, and after Sunday at Silverado, Brendan Steele knows it all too well. He led the Safeway Open after 54 holes in 2015, but a disappointing back nine where he gave away the tournament with five bogeys in a span of seven holes left the California native frustrated. In the 2016 edition, Steele had a strong kick down the home stretch and finished birdie – birdie – birdie to shoot a final round 65 to finish at 18 under par – Good enough for a one stroke win over Patton Kizzire.
“You don’t often get that chance in life to redeem yourself in the same way at the same place,” Steele said. “I think my putting coming down the stretch was really the most important thing and definitely some wedge play. I’ve been working on some stuff with Dave Pelz that helped me with the soft conditions taking spin off the ball and really controlling my numbers.”
The event was plagued with heavy rain throughout the weekend, with the field playing lift clean and place in the soggy turf at Silverado. The consistent rains caused a few delays but, it wasn’t bad enough to cancel a round or postpone the finish.
Finishing two strokes back was the quartet of Paul Casey, Michael Kim, Johnson Wagner and Scott Piercy. Recent Ryder Cup hero and fan favorite Phil Mickelson finished tied for eighth with Justin Thomas, Chris Kirk, Cody Gribble and Martin Laird.
The victory was Steele’s 2nd Tour win and his first in nearly 5 years (2011 Valero Texas Open). It was also Steele’s first win since switching to the short putter after the anchoring ban began.