What a difference a year makes for Brendan Steele!
Final Thoughts from the Safeway Open
Brendan Steele exacted his revenge on, well, himself, after not being able to close the 54-hole lead at Silverado last year. He had a one-shot lead but came home in 40 to slide all the way to T-17. This year, he made eight birdies in the final round and posted the co-low round of the day with 65. He deserves credit here as he was also the 54-hole leader at the CIMB last fall and didn’t close that adventure either as Justin Thomas steamrolled TPC Kuala Lumpur for 63 that afternoon. Gamers should be encouraged that Steele showed the nerve to put the pressure on 54-hole leader Patton Kizzire with a birdie-birdie-birdie finish to set the number. The next big test will be if he can play from the front in the same circumstance.
Steele has proven to be a course-horse on multiple tracks but those are mainly TPC or resort-style joints. Don’t worry, I’ll keep track of this for you moving forward as I think he provides serious value in those events. It will be interesting to see if he starts pushing up in other events moving forward. He’s playing CIMB this week and so it Thomas so like most week, Fantasy Land is always filled with difficult decisions!
Don’t forget, the winner of this event as advanced to The Tour Championship the last three years! #HotStarts
Paul Casey (T-3): Nothing outside of the top five in his last four events, three of those the final events of last season’s FEC Playoffs.
Justin Thomas (T-8): Brought the course form from last year’s T-3 and paired it with his current form T-6 at The Tour Championship.
Kevin Na (7th): Once you accept that top 10’s are very good finishes you’ll appreciate Na even more.
Emiliano Grillo (T-26): Newbie gamers might be upset at that finish but it’s his first time as defending champion and he handled it decently. He’ll never have to do that again for the first time.
Caught My Eye
Nick Watney: Returning for the first time in almost a nine months from a back injury, he quietly posted 67 on Sunday and finished T-35.
Keegan Bradley: Closing 66 moved him up to T-22 but I’d still check those putting numbers before diving in with both feet.
Jamie Lovemark: T-20 and should be ready to bust out this year.
Rain Delays: Never a big fan even though they happen more times than not on Tour. Some guys let the delays get to them. Some guys accept the challenge on move on. It seems like it always rains in Kuala Lumpur during this event so we’ll see who handles that plus the jet lag.