One week after his first missed cut of the season, Brendan Steele was back in the money. Last week at the Shell Houston Open in Humble, Texas, his five-under-par 70-71-71-71 — 283 was enough to tie for 38th place and $25,420 in official earnings.
The native Idyllwilder hit 75 percent of the greens in regulation, compared to the tournament field average of 70 percent, but his proximity to the hole was a foot longer and his putting average of 1.87 per hole for the tournament was a bit above the tournament field average and his own average for the season.
With the 2013 season already more than one-third over, Steele now has $336,115 in official earnings. This is likely most of what he will need to finish this shortened season in the top-125 and earn his PGA Tour playing privileges for next year.
Steele also earned 30 more FedEx points last week, giving him a total of 239 for this season, probably about two-thirds of what he will need to earn next season’s card via that alternative route.
This week Steele will return to the site of his 2011 victory on the PGA Tour when he plays in the $6.2 million Valero Texas Open on the TPC San Antonio course in San Antonio. The winner’s share in that tournament will be more than $1.1 million.