Brendan Steele retains Safeway Open title with two-shot victory
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 09/10/17 8:12am
Brendan Steele successfully retained his Safeway Open title with a two-stroke victory in California.
Steele posted a three-under 69 in breezy conditions at the Silverado Resort, birdieing two of his final three holes to get to 15 under and pull ahead of nearest challenger Tony Finau.
Phil Mickelson ended the week in a share of third spot alongside Chesson Hadley, with Graham DeLaet and overnight leader Tyler Duncan a further shot back on 11 under.
"It (winning) really was a good springboard for me last year," Steele said. "It propelled me to my best season yet. It was nice to get re-started here and feel a little bit more free."
Beginning two shots off the pace, Steele posted back-to-back birdies from the fourth and added a six-foot gain at the ninth to reach the turn in 33.
Steele dropped a shot at the 12th and rolled in an eight-foot bogey at the 14th after going from bunker to bunker, only to bounce back with a two-putt gain at the 16th and closing birdie.
Finau, who briefly led until a double-bogey at the 14th, also picked up a shot at the last to match Steele's 69, with Mickelson mixing five birdies with three bogeys on his way to a closing 70.
"I had a good time today," Mickelson said. "It was fun to be in the mix, it was fun to have a chance. It was very difficult conditions. I enjoyed that challenge."
PGA Tour rookie Duncan, who had led or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds, bogeyed his opening three holes on his way to a three-over 75.