By Jack Clark, pro golf correspondent 

Brendan Steel posted a 3-under-par 68 Thursday in the first round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the TPC Summerlin course in Las Vegas.

A sign of a good round showed itself early when the Idyllwild native drained a 26-footer for birdie on his third green of the day.

On Thursday, Brendan’s drives averaged 299.5 yards while finding 85.71% of the fairways. He hit 77.78% of the greens in regulation, and he sank putts of 23 and 11 feet while gaining 0.300 of a stroke against the field with the flat stick. He carded four birdies against just one bogey on the day.

By the way, there are some changes in Brendan’s bag for this year. Brendan’s Montreal Superfan André Pilon reports — on information from Brendan’s caddie, Christian Donald — that Brendan currently is carrying a 9.5-degree Ping driver, a Taylor Made 5 wood, a 21-degree Wilson 2 iron, a 24-degree Wilson 4 iron,  Wilson Staff blades 5 iron through PW, a Wilson forged 52-degree wedge, two Titleist Vokey wedges of 58 degrees and 63 degrees, and a Scotty Cameron Phantom X putter.

So, going into tomorrow’s second round of four, Brendan is tied for 43th place. He tees off tomorrow at       12:10 p.m. PDT. You can follow him with the PGA Tour app on your cellphone while viewing coverage of the tournament on the Golf Channel.