Brendan Steele wins back-to-back Safeway Opens

The 34-year-old finished two clear of his fellow American Tony Finau

Brendan Steele wins back to back Safeway Opens
Brendan Steele wins back to back Safeway Opens
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Brendan Steele of the USA won the Safeway Open at the Silverado Resort in California for a second year running. Steele finished two shots clear of his countryman Tony Finau.

Brendan Steele fired a final round of 69 at Silverado to finish the Safeway Open on 14-under-par and win the first event of the 2017-18 PGA Tour wraparound season. Steele ended the week two shots clear of Tony Finau with Phil Mickelson and Chesson Hadley tied for third.

Steele began the final round two shots adrift of Tyler Duncan but, as the 54-hole leader stumbled, Steele held strong in testing, windy conditions. The 34-year-old birdied the 16th and 18th holes to secure his third PGA Tour victory and a defence of the title he claimed 18 months ago.

Paul Lawrie on driving in the wind:

"I'm getting pretty spoiled winning the first event of the year twice," said Steele, from South California. "This place is so great to me. I feel so comfortable here and it's been a great run."

Tony Finau had a great chance to claim his second PGA Tour victory but he came unstuck on the par-4 14th when his drive ended under a tree and he racked up a double bogey.

"I was happy the way I hung in there; I didn't hit a lot of quality shots off the tee coming in like I needed to," Finau said. "But I put myself in a situation for a possible playoff or a win. It was still pretty cool."

3 Talking points from the Safeway Open

1 – It was a good week for title defences. After Tyrrell Hatton completed a second straight win in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Brendan Steele successfully defended the Safeway Open. This is an event that clearly brings out the best in Steele. His last top-10 on the PGA Tour was in the Players Championship back in May.

2 – Phil Mickelson continued his good run of form with a tied third finish at Silverado. He got within a shot after 16 holes but a bogey on the 17th put paid to his chances. Mickelson hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since the 2013 Open Championship. "It's just keep playing to keep giving myself chances," the 47-year-old said. "It will happen."

3 – It was a difficult final round for Tour rookie Tyler Duncan. He led through 36 and 54 holes but couldn’t handle the pressure on Sunday. He bogeyed the first three holes and could never get back into it from there. He finished with a 75 and in a tie for fifth place.

Safeway Open Silverado Resort and Spa, Napa, California October 5-8 Purse: $6,200,000 Par: 72

1       Brendan Steele (USA)    65     67     72     69     273   $1,116,000 2       Tony Finau (USA)          70     65     71     69     275   $669,600 T3     Phil Mickelson (USA)      69     69     68     70     276   $359,600 T3     Chesson Hadley (USA)   72     61     70     73     276   $359,600 T5     Graham DeLaet (Can)   69     67     69     72     277   $235,600 T5     Tyler Duncan (USA)       65     66     71     75     277   $235,600 T7     Andrew Landry (USA)    71     69     69     69     278   $199,950 T7     Bud Cauley (USA) 69     69     66     74     278   $199,950 T9     Tyrone van Aswegen (RSA) 71 67    72     69     279   $161,200 T9     Grayson Murray (USA)   70     69     71     69     279   $161,200 T9     Brandon Harkins (USA)  72     70     69     68     279   $161,200 T9     Nick Taylor (Can)           71     68     68     72     279   $161,200

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?