Brendan Steele played back in form in last week’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. In four, all under-par, rounds, he carded 60-67-70-67 for a 273 total. The 11-under-par performance earned him a tie for 13th place and added $72,500 to his official money-list earnings for this season.
Steele drove well (294-yard average; 64 percent fairway accuracy) and approached greens respectably (75 percent greens-in-regulation; 37 feet proximity-to-hole), but he shone with his putter. Against the rest of the field, Steele gained more than eight full strokes putting over the tournament — third best in the field — including a fantastic 4.5 strokes-gained-putting performance on Sunday. During the whole tournament, he collected 18 birdies against only 7 bogeys.
Steele posted his fifth top-25 finish on the PGA Tour this season and his 13th in his first two seasons. He rose to 109th place on the official money list with $783,205 for the year, virtually guaranteeing a top-125 finish and earning his PGA Tour playing card for 2013 even if he wasn’t already exempt for next year by virtue of his win last year in the Valero Texas Open.
This week Steele returns to California for the $5 million Frys.com Open at the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin. The winner’s purse will be worth $900,000.