Brendan Steele posted a 6-under-par 69-66-71-72 — 278 in the Honda Classic at Palm Beach, Fla., last week. The Idyllwild native’s performance was only six shots off the lead, but the scores were so tightly bunched that 40 golfers scored that well or better.
Except for driving distance, in which category Steele was 13th in the field at 295.3 yards, his stats were not particularly remarkable, either way. At more than 1.8 putts per green, however, he gave away too many strokes on the tabletop.
Yet Steele earned more than $30,000 for his trouble, and he gained 34.5 FedExCup points to raise him from 45th to 43rd place on the points list with 345 points. Another 100 or so points this season should ensure that he will finish in the top 125 on the list.
Steele has made the cut in seven of 10 tournaments after about three months of play so far this season. He has more than five months of play left before the season-ending playoffs begin.
FedExCup points are important not only because the top 125 point-earners get playing privileges on the PGA Tour for the next season, but because they determine entries into the four lucrative FedExCup Playoff tournaments that end this season. The top 125 point-earners gain entry to The Barclays, the top 100 after the Barclays results are tabulated will enter the Deutsche Bank Championship, after which the top 70 will play in the BMW Championship. Only the top 30 in FedExCup points after the BMW will go on to the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola. The point leader after the Tour Championship gets a $10 million bonus as FedExCup Champion.
Steele will take this week off.