• Brendan Steele posted a four-under-par 35-33 -- 68 on the La Quinta Country Club course today, Thursday, to tie for 25th place going into tomorrow's second round, 4 strokes behind the leader.

During a cold, rainy front nine, and a chilly second nine, he carded five birdies against a lone bogey.

Brendan found more than 78 percent of the fairways with drives averaging 308 yards, and he hit a heavy 83 percent of the greens in regulation. But after sinking an 11-foot birdie putt on his first hole, the native Idyllwilder's putter did not produce magic the rest of the way.

Nonetheless, he enters tomorrow's second round only four strokes behind the leader, who is ranked only the number 164th player in the world.

A word to those planning to join Brendan for tomorrow's second round. Because of anticipated rain Friday afternoon, tee times for the second round have moved up an hour. Brendan now tees off from No. 10 on the Nicklaus Tournament course at 8:15 a.m. PST., NOT the original 9:15.

Jack Clark may be reached at [email protected].