Golf is a fickle game, it’s just fickle for pros on a different level.
For Brendan Steele, the first three rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta were quite promising: He went from 32nd after Thursday, to eighth after Friday, to 10th after Saturday — and he was as high at fifth at one point. But the roller coaster turned south Sunday, and he was 34th at the finish. He posted a 13-under-par 68-65-68-74 — 275, earning only 33.5 FedExCup points and moving from 27th to 29th on that points list.
For the Idyllwild native, the calamity came at the par-4 10th hole Sunday at the TPC Stadium course at PGA West. His drive did not clear the water extending from near the front of the tee well out across the fairway. He dropped behind the water in two, and his third shot came to rest where his playing partners were lying one. His fourth shot found the front greenside bunker, and he needed three to get down from there for a triple-bogey seven that devastated his standing.
Brendan’s Sunday was tough. He found only eight of 14 fairways with drives averaging 291 yards, and hit only nine of 18 greens in regulation, while needing 32 putts for the round.
Brendan’s overall tournament play was certainly not without highlights, however, not the least of which happened at the 547-yard par-5 13th Thursday, at La Quinta Country Club, where his second shot from the fairway found the green and rolled directly to the cup, then lipped around the back rim, right to left, stopping 18 inches from the pin for a tap-in eagle — barely missing a double eagle. And even on his tough Sunday he canned birdie putts of 14, 16 and 20 feet.
B plays this week in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla. Check with the Town Crier’s website or phone app late Tuesday afternoon, when we expect to have his tee times posted for Thursday and Friday.