Brendan Steele fired a steady 34-35 — 69 on the Nicklaus Tournament course Thursday to tie for 53rd going into the second round of the Desert Classic at La Quinta.

The native Idyllwilder put together 3 birdies against a single bogey, draining an appropriate 30-footer along the way. Brenda is back to using the “claw” putter grip again, and his putting was steady in the first round. 

Meanwhile, Phil Mickleson was playing on a different course about six miles away. He shot 30-30 — 60 at La Quinta Country Club, much the easiest of the three courses, but still a fantastic score. Brendan had a good start on the Nicklaus Tournament course, but now everyone needs to go low at La Quinta if they want a shot at winning this tournament. Brendan plays at La Quinta on Saturday.

C’mon down and cheer Brendan around The Stadium course at PGA West today, Friday. He goes off No. 1 at 9:10 this morning.