Steele rallies to win Safeway Open


Rain continued to delay the conclusion of the season's first event, but when Silverado Resort dried out it was Brendan Steele who left with the trophy. Here's how things ended up at the Safeway Open, where Steele rallied for a one-shot win:

Leaderboard: Brendan Steele (-18), Patton Kizzire (-17), Johnson Wagner (-16), Paul Casey (-16), Michael Kim (-16), Scott Piercy (-16)

What it means: Steele started the final round with the lead at this event last year, but shot a closing 76 to fall well off the pace. This time around, he used a flurry of birdies down the stretch to catch and pass Kizzire, then Steele sat back and watched a number of challengers fail to reach his clubhouse total. The one-shot win is the second of his PGA Tour career, and first since he won the 2011 Valero Texas Open as a rookie.

Round of the day: Steele began the last round four shots behind Kizzire, but he quickly chiseled away at the gap with four front-nine birdies, then closed with three more birdies over his final three holes to shoot 65 and post the number to beat. That finishing stretch included an 18-footer on No. 17 as well as a 7-footer on the final hole to break out of a tie with Kizzire.

Best of the rest: Kevin Na lost this event last year in a playoff, and he made another charge up the standings with a 6-under 66 during which he found every green in regulation. Na birdied six of his last 12 holes to play his way into contention, and while he closed with six straight pars his 15-under total was still good enough for a seventh-place finish in his first start since East Lake.

Biggest disappointment: Kizzire was in search of his first career win after a solid rookie campaign, but some late miscues left him just short. While he birdied three of his first 11 holes, he didn't make another birdie the rest of the way and errant drives prevented him from taking advantage of either the par-5 16th or 18th holes as he closed with a 2-under 70.

Shot of the day: With Kizzire still seemingly in the driver's seat, Steele poured in an 18-footer on No. 17 to grab a share of the lead. He took sole possession of the lead with another birdie on the next hole.

Quote of the day: "This is a little bit of redemption from last year." - Steele