Brendan Steele won the first event of the PGA Tour’s 2016-17 season, finishing one clear of his fellow American Patton Kizzire at Silverado Resort in California. England’s Paul Casey was third.
Brendan Steele closed with three straight birdies at Silverado to finish with a superb 65 and overhaul Patton Kizzire at the top of the board and claim his second PGA Tour title, his first since his rookie season in 2011.
The American had been in a position to win the PGA Tour’s season-opener last year but he faltered down the stretch, firing 40 on the back nine. This year, he didn’t make the same mistake.
After dropping a shot on the 12th, it looked as though Steele would have a tough time to respond. But he finished fast. He reached the green in two shots on the par-5 16th, he then holed a long putt on the 17th and a clutch birdie putt on the last to post a four-round total of 18-under-par. Kizzire wasn’t able to match him and victory was Steele’s.
“This is a little bit of redemption from last year,” Steele said. “It’s nice to close it off this way. I wanted to be aggressive and I didn’t want to just kind of coast in and just make sure that I had a decent week.”
3 Talking points from the Safeway Open
1 – Steele had gone 141 starts on the PGA Tour since his last victory. His first, and only other win came in his rookie year – at the Valero Texas Open of 2011. It was a relief to get back into the winner’s enclosure.
“I’d be lying if I said that maybe I was only going to win once on Tour,” Steele said. “I felt like my game was really good and I put myself in position a lot but didn’t really execute coming down the stretch. I thought maybe I’m destined to just have that one win and play a long career out here but not necessarily keep winning, so this one definitely feels really good.”
2 – It was another great week for England’s Paul Casey. He has finished no worse than fourth in his last four tournaments.
“So close, isn’t it?” Casey said. “I mean, I played great. I had another wonderful week.”
Paul Casey swing sequence:
3 – Phil Mickelson had a solid week to end his year. He followed three 69s with a 67 to end the week in a tie for eighth. He was able to take the positives from his year, despite failing to secure a victory.
“I had some good performances,” he said. “My iron play came back, my wedge play, putting, it was a great putting year. A lot of really good positives that come from this year. I’ve got to fix my driving this off-season and I think the wins will follow.”
Silverado Resort and Spa North, Napa, California
Purse $6,000,000, par 72
1 Brendan Steele (USA) 67 71 67 65 270 $1,080,000
2 Patton Kizzire (USA) 64 71 66 70 271 $648,000
T3 Paul Casey (Eng) 64 68 71 69 272 $288,000
T3 Michael Kim (USA) 73 67 65 67 272 $288,000
T3 Scott Piercy (USA) 62 67 73 70 272 $288,000
T3 Johnson Wagner (USA) 65 67 70 70 272 $288,000
7 Kevin Na (USA) 71 66 70 66 273 $201,000
T8 Cody Gribble (USA) 67 69 70 68 274 $162,000
T8 Chris Kirk (USA) 73 65 70 66 274 $162,000
T8 Martin Laird (Sco) 67 68 68 71 274 $162,000
T8 Phil Mickelson (USA) 69 69 69 67 274 $162,000
T8 Justin Thomas (USA) 75 66 66 67 274 $162,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage