Going into last week’s Wyndham Classic in Greensboro, N.C., Brendan Steele was outside the top 125 players in FedEx Cup Points and about 36 points shy of what he would need to make that the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup.
After a disappointing Thursday, the native Idyllwilder was even in danger of missing the cut, earning no FedEx points, and sitting out the four FedEx Cup tournaments.
He had hit a fair number of fairways and greens in regulation, but his approach shots averaged more than 40 feet from the pin. But his putter could not make up distance. He finished the day two over par and three shots behind the projected cut number.
Friday, started choppy. Steele had two birdies and two bogeys in the first six holes. Then he navigated the rest of the round bogey free while adding five more birdies, including four in a row on holes 12 through 15.
The turn around came from hot iron play in the second round — his proximity to the hole stat dropped to less than 30 feet and he bettered his strokes-gained-putting stat by more than three shots.
Steele sank a 15-foot putt on no. 3 and a 14-footer on no. 13, both for birdies. He made the cut with two holes to spare and rose to a tie for 47th place, but he went into the weekend needing to rise still higher in position to earn a FedEx Cup playoff berth.
Unfortunately for Steele, Saturday and Sunday were more like Thursday than Friday. His 40-foot proximity to the pin returned and that was too much for his putter to overcome.
He did garner $10,660 for the week to add to his official earnings, but he fell about 30 FedEx Cup points short of making the playoffs.
Consequently, Steele will have about five weeks off from PGA Tour competition during the playoffs. But he will have an opportunity to add to his official PGA Tour earnings in the Fall Finish, which comprises four tournaments in October and early November, and to add unofficial earnings from other tournaments, including defending his 2011 co-championship with Keegan Bradley at the Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout in November.