Brendan Steele had his troubles at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio this year. He recorded a 7-over-par 70-71-78-76 — 295 to finish in a tie for 62nd place, his lowest finish of the season. But the native Idyllwilder still hasn’t missed a cut in 13 tournament starts in 2016-17, and has six top 20s, three top 10s and a win to his credit.
At San Antonio, Brendan’s drives found only 55 percent of the fairways and he hit only 44 percent of the greens in regulation. He lost strokes both in Strokes Gained Tee to Green (his usually best category) and in SG Putting. But one category in which he gained strokes was SG Around the Green, in which he gained 2.460 strokes against the field (he scrambled well at 72.5 percent) and was 16th best in the field.
Brendan plays this week in the $7.1 million Zurich Classic of New Orleans, which has a new format this year. He and good friend Keegan Bradley will team up for the entire tournament, playing foursomes (alternate shot) on Thursday and Saturday and four ball (best ball) on Friday and Sunday. There will be a Friday-night cut at 35 teams and ties. The winning tournament team will split the former, now combined, first- and second-place FedExCup Points and prize money, and so on down the leaderboard.
Brendan and Keegantee off Thursday at 10:52 a.m. PDT and Friday at 5:39 a.m. PDT.