Brendan Steele wins Safeway Open

The American finished one clear of his countryman Patton Kizzire at the Silverado Resort

Brendan Steele wins Safeway Open
Brendan Steele wins Safeway Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Brendan Steele won the first event of the PGA Tour’s 2016-17 season, finishing one clear of his fellow American Patton Kizzire at Silverado Resort in California. England’s Paul Casey was third.

Brendan Steele closed with three straight birdies at Silverado to finish with a superb 65 and overhaul Patton Kizzire at the top of the board and claim his second PGA Tour title, his first since his rookie season in 2011.

The American had been in a position to win the PGA Tour’s season-opener last year but he faltered down the stretch, firing 40 on the back nine. This year, he didn’t make the same mistake.

After dropping a shot on the 12th, it looked as though Steele would have a tough time to respond. But he finished fast. He reached the green in two shots on the par-5 16th, he then holed a long putt on the 17th and a clutch birdie putt on the last to post a four-round total of 18-under-par. Kizzire wasn’t able to match him and victory was Steele’s.

"This is a little bit of redemption from last year," Steele said. "It's nice to close it off this way. I wanted to be aggressive and I didn't want to just kind of coast in and just make sure that I had a decent week."

3 Talking points from the Safeway Open

1 – Steele had gone 141 starts on the PGA Tour since his last victory. His first, and only other win came in his rookie year - at the Valero Texas Open of 2011. It was a relief to get back into the winner’s enclosure. "I'd be lying if I said that maybe I was only going to win once on Tour," Steele said. "I felt like my game was really good and I put myself in position a lot but didn't really execute coming down the stretch. I thought maybe I'm destined to just have that one win and play a long career out here but not necessarily keep winning, so this one definitely feels really good."

2 – It was another great week for England’s Paul Casey. He has finished no worse than fourth in his last four tournaments. "So close, isn't it?" Casey said. "I mean, I played great. I had another wonderful week."

Paul Casey swing sequence:

3 – Phil Mickelson had a solid week to end his year. He followed three 69s with a 67 to end the week in a tie for eighth. He was able to take the positives from his year, despite failing to secure a victory. "I had some good performances,” he said. “My iron play came back, my wedge play, putting, it was a great putting year. A lot of really good positives that come from this year. I've got to fix my driving this off-season and I think the wins will follow."

Safeway Open Silverado Resort and Spa North, Napa, California Oct 13-16 Purse $6,000,000, par 72

1    Brendan Steele (USA)    67    71    67    65    270    $1,080,000 2    Patton Kizzire (USA)    64    71    66    70    271    $648,000 T3    Paul Casey (Eng)        64    68    71    69    272    $288,000 T3    Michael Kim (USA)    73    67    65    67    272    $288,000 T3    Scott Piercy (USA)    62    67    73    70    272    $288,000 T3    Johnson Wagner (USA)    65    67    70    70    272    $288,000 7    Kevin Na (USA)        71    66    70    66    273    $201,000 T8    Cody Gribble (USA)    67    69    70    68    274    $162,000 T8    Chris Kirk (USA)        73    65    70    66    274    $162,000 T8    Martin Laird (Sco)    67    68    68    71    274    $162,000 T8    Phil Mickelson (USA)    69    69    69    67    274    $162,000 T8    Justin Thomas (USA)    75    66    66    67    274    $162,000

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He 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 history section of "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?