Steele in 5th at Barracuda

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Stableford scoring is supposed to reward risk taking, so Brendan Steele combined nine birdies against five bogeys Thursday to score 13 points in the Stableford scoring of the Barracuda Championship in Reno to position himself in 5th place, only 2 points off the lead.

The Montreux course is 200 feet higher than Brendan's native Idyllwild, and he's been slamming the ball, averaging 334 yards off the tee. His longest was a whopping 338 yards -- and he found 12 of 14 fairways while doing so. He hit 13 of 18 greens in regulation, picking up 3.245 strokes on the field in approaches.

But Brendan really shined with his putter, needing only 1.308 putts per green, ranking no. 1 in the field in that category. He dropped two 8-footers, a 9-footer, and two more putts of 15 and 17 feet.

B tees off today, Friday, at 1:06 p.m. PDT.

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