Brendan Steele. File photo

Brendan Steele got his game back big time at the Reno-Tahoe Open outside of Reno, Nevada. The native Idyllwilder shot 71-70-65-72 – 278, but more important for this tournament was his Modified Stableford score of 5-8-17-3 — 33, which was good enough for outright fourth place, his first top-5 and second top-10 finish of the season.

His standout play came in the third round; Saturday’s back nine was astonishing. He fired an unheard of 28, including 6 birdies and an eagle, playing the final six holes in 7 under par. He tallied 17 Stableford points in nine holes, a tournament high.

For the week, Steele earned another 80 FedEx Cup points, and also earned $140,000 in prize money. This places him in 89th place on the FedEx Cup points list with 511, and raises him to 100th place on the official money list with $770,120 — either one of which is well more than needed to qualify for next season’s play on the PGA Tour.

Steele’s performance last week turned around his play over the previous two tournaments — at the John Deere, in which he missed the cut when he injured his back stepping into a hole as he left the practice putting green before round two, and at the Canadian Open where he led the field after day one, but lost his game for the next three rounds.

Steele has this week off, not playing in the PGA Championship this year.