A two-over-par 72 was how Brendan Steele opened the Honda Classic last Thursday on the tough PGA National Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. With this score, he was good enough for only a 102nd-place tie by the end of the tournament’s first day.
Then on Friday, while knowing that he had to have a very good day to avoid the cut for the first time this year, he opened with a bogey on both of his first two holes and dropped to four-over-par.
Now he really had to work in order to make the cut.
But Steele’s Montreal superfan, André Pilon, says that he follows the native Idyllwilder because “he never gives up.” True to that assessment, Steele bounced back in his last 16 holes on Friday, posting five birdies against no more bogeys.
Even with a bad start, he fired a three-under-par 67 for the day, which vaulted him into a tie for 43rd place.He even made the cut for the final two rounds with a stroke to spare. He now has made the cut in all five official PGA tournaments that he has entered this year as well as the last two from last year — seven consecutive cuts made.
One of Steele’s Friday birdies was indeed spectacular. On the 535-yard par-5 third hole, Steele’s second shot found the edge of the water hazard left of the green 34 yards from the pin. But his ball was sitting up in the water, nestled in a notch formed by two underwater cables. Steele doffed his shoes and socks, rolled up his pant legs and waded in.
He blasted his third shot up from the cables and onto the green only 12 feet from the hole, then sank the putt for a birdie four. When was the last time you saw a player hit into a water hazard and still make birdie?
Steele finished up on the difficult course on Saturday and Sunday with a 73 and 75, earning him a tie for 51st place at seven over par and $14,040.
He now stands 53rd on both the money list, having earning $293,947 this year, and on the FedEx Points list with 185 points.