Brendan Steele shot a nine-under-par 69-67-67-72 — 275 in the Deutsche Bank Championship just outside of Boston last week. He tied for 10th place in the tournament, earning a paycheck of more than $177,000.
During the week, the native Idyllwilder posted three eagles and 13 birdies against 10 bogeys, entirely avoiding double bogeys that have occasionally marred his scorecard.
His driving was excellent; his 73.2 percent accuracy tied for 8th place and 304 yards in average length of drive was 23rd best. He hit 62.5 percent of the greens in regulation and needed an average of only 27.8 putts per round.
The performance moved him from 54th to 42nd in the FedEx Cup point standings, easily qualifying him for the third leg of the playoffs. His winnings for the year improved to more than $1.7 million, which is also 42nd in standings of more than 260 players who have won money on this year’s PGA tour.
The $8 million BMW Championship will be Sept. 15 to 18 and played at the Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Ill., west of Chicago. Last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston course in Norton, Mass., was the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour.
Steele earned 319 FedEx Cup points in the Deutsche Bank tournament, for total of 1,145 points since January. He is 42nd on the FedEx point list. The top 70 players qualified for BMW Championship, but only the top 30 advance to the FedEx Cup final leg — the Tour Championship, which will be played in Atlanta. So, he will need to earn more points at Cog Hill.
Currently, he is 153 points behind the player in 30th place. Although a 37th-place finish this past week earned a player 160 points, all the contending players can be expected to raise their points totals in the BMW, so Steele will likely have to earn more than 160 points at Lemont to qualify for Atlanta.
Now, he has a week to rest and to devise a strategy for the BMW Championship.