Brendan Steele of the USA fired a closing round of 71 to beat fellow rookie Kevin Chappell by a single shot and to win the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio.
Steele came into the final round one shot clear and he coped well with the difficult, windy conditions to maintain that advantage and claim his maiden PGA Tour title.
The Californian, whose previous best finish on the circuit was a tie for 17th at the Farmer’s Insurance Open in January, held his nerve as a pack of players looked to threaten him at the top of the leaderboard.
He played a supremely solid closing round that featured 12 straight pars from the 8th hole to maintain his slender advantage.
“When you’ve got the one shot lead it’s not even your tournament,” he said. “There’s so many guys that could still win with a good round, without you even doing anything wrong, that I didn’t feel as much pressure.”
Kevin Chappell moved into a share of the lead with a birdie on the 10th hole and he remained tied at the top until the 17th where a dropped shot proved costly for the 24-year-old.
“I think I just fell asleep,” he said of the 17th hole. ” I thought the wind was dead into me and I should have known it was a little left to right.”
Charley Hoffman played a fine closing round of 68 to climb into a tie for second place with Chappell while Brandt Snedeker was one shot further back, alone in fourth.
Wind was a factor in the tournament all week and the scoring average reflected that. At 73.365 it was the highest average on this year’s PGA Tour so far. Steele’s winning total of 280 was the highest recoreded in the tournament since 1934.
Valero Texas Open
TPC San Antonio, Texas
Apr 14-17, purse $6,200,000, par 72
1 Brendan Steele (USA) 69 72 68 71 280 $1,116,000
T2 Kevin Chappell (USA) 68 73 70 70 281 $545,600
T2 Charley Hoffman (USA) 68 73 72 68 281 $545,600
4 Brandt Snedeker (USA) 69 72 70 71 282 $297,600
T5 Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 72 75 67 69 283 $226,300
T5 Pat Perez (USA) 71 74 67 71 283 $226,300
T5 Cameron Tringale (USA) 71 71 68 73 283 $226,300
8 Charles Howell III (USA) 71 73 68 72 283 $226,300
T9 Keegan Bradley (USA) 73 73 71 68 284 $192,200
T9 Martin Laird (Sco) 72 74 69 70 284 $192,200
Note: Player in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only