It wasn’t one of his better tournaments this year, scoring wise, but Brendan Steele kept composure and patience throughout. Sunday the Idyllwild native was two over par on the day, giving him a 1-over-par 69-72-74-74 — 289 for the tournament and finishing him in a tie for 45th.

He did record four birdies Sunday, including this one at the par 4 14th hole. (See photo.) Note the claw grip he is employing with the short stick.

Keegan Bradley watches as Brendan Steele drops a 15-foot putt for birdie at the par-4 14th hole on Sunday.


His putting was not way off; he needed only 1.727 puts per green and gained 2.708 strokes on the rest of the field; he stood 19th in the tournament field in both those categories. But through eight tournaments this year, Steele’s proximity to hole stat has been high — 36 feet, 5 inches, which ranks 104th on the tour. This suggests that too often his approaches have left him with birdie putts that are too long to be dropped with any consistency.

Steele has been working with Rich Smith, his swing coach, and lately has incorporated one of Smith’s swing keys into his pre-shot routine on full swings. He says this swing key is designed to help him keep his butt down and his shoulders rotating under and through, something many amateurs would do well to emulate. (A video of Steele's pre-shot routine -- with the swing key -- is posted below.)

Steele is taking this week off, but currently is expected to tee it up next week at the Riviera Country Club in the Northern Trust Open in Pacific Palisades.