From her vantage point overlooking the Torrey Pines North 15th green, Jana Steele watches her son, Brendan, putting Thursday, Jan. 25. Photo by Jack Clark

Sunday at Torrey Pines was tough for almost everyone, and Brendan Steele was not an exception. In strong and gusty winds, he managed only a 4-over-par 76 on the Farmers Insurance Open’s final day, finishing with a 2-under-par 286 for the week, good for a tie for 29th.

Still, the Idyllwild native picked up 26 FedExCup points and moved from eighth up to sixth on the points list. However, he dropped from 48th to 51st in the Official World Golf Ranking.

In an exclusive interview with the Town Crier after the first round, Brendan gave us some insights:

TC: Congratulations on a terrific comeback, Brendan — out on 37, back in 33. You must feel pretty good about that going into tomorrow’s round.

Brendan: Yeah, for a lot of reasons. I mean, I didn’t have my best stuff today, but that’s a decent score. I’ve been working hard on trying to stick to my process and still hit great shots even when I don’t feel good about what’s happening. When things happen like the start I had today, I really want to do better, and so I had to work on patience today and the ability to stick in the moment.

TC: The North Course has generally been considered the less difficult of the two courses, but now it’s been redesigned. Does that affect your assessment of it?

Brendan: It’s way closer to the South now, but I’m much more comfortable on the South than I am on the North. The North has not been my friend since they redid it. The greens are a different grass, they’re very modern greens. They don’t really fit the course, in my opinion. And they added 300 yards to it, or so. The only thing you have over there is some par 5s that are gettable. I’m happy to get that one out of the way and get over to the South.

Brendan plays this week in the $6.9 million Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona. He’ll go off no. 10 Thursday at 11:20 a.m. PST and no. 1 Friday at 7:05 a.m. PST.

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