Brendan Steele posted a 3-under-par 70-67-68-76 — 281 at the Northern Trust Open on the Riviera Country Club course in Pacific Palisades last week to tie for 39th place.
The Idyllwild native picked up strokes on the field tee to green (-2.214), but he gave back almost three strokes putting (+2.887). He did sink a colossal 77-footer during his third round.
A reader inquired as to whether Brendan does better during the first three days of tournaments than he does on Sundays. We checked and found that during his first four years on the PGA Tour his scoring average in final rounds was actually better than during the first three tournament days. But last year, 2015, he averaged 69.84 in rounds one through three and 71.26 in final rounds — 1.42 strokes higher. And so far this year he’s averaging 69.05 in rounds one through three and 73.67 in final rounds — 4.62 strokes higher.
But to be fair, this year’s stat includes a closing round 79 at Torrey Pines on a cold, sideways-rainy Sunday when everybody scored high. In fact, Scott Brown, who led at Torrey during the first three days, shot an 87 in his final round and finished tied for 49th, same as Brendan.
The Western Swing is over. B tees off this week in the $6.1 million Honda Classic on the PGA National (Champion) course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He tees off Thursday at 8:55 a.m. PST and Friday at 3:55 a.m. PST.
Jack Clark can be reached at [email protected]