Brendan Steele made a positive breakthrough last week, finishing in a tie for fourth in the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio. He carded a five-under-par 73-74-69-67 for a total score of 283.
TPC San Antonio must fit his game well since his two highest finishes in official PGA Tour events have come on that course. Last year’s win there earned him more than $1.1 million and this year’s tie for fourth was worth a $244,125, in official prize money.
The native Idyllwilder’s performance last week broke what was for him an unprecedented three straight tournaments in which he missed cuts. After Sunday’s round, Steele said, “It was nice to have a good week. It had been a while.”
Both Steele’s driving distance and driving accuracy were excellent during last week’s tournament; he placed tied for 13th and 10th in those categories among all competitors.
On Sunday, he combined good driving with fine iron play. His approach shots landed within 28 feet, on average, from the pin — better than the only three players who finished above him in the tournament.
On the par-4 15th hole Sunday, Steele’s drive found the large fairway bunker on the right. But he launched a long approach shot from the sand that finished three feet from the pin. He sank the put for a birdie three.
Steele turned his putting around this week, posting a positive strokes-gained-putting statistic.
Steele has now earned more than $570,000 in this his sophomore season on the PGA Tour, placing him 61st on this year’s official money list. He currently stands 78th in FedEx Cup points this season. He will sit this week out in preparation for the remainder of the PGA Tour season.