Amateurs looking for tips on bouncing back from a slow start on the course need look no further than Brendan Steele's early efforts at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
A former PGA Tour winner, Steele appeared headed for an early exit from Las Vegas about an hour into his opening round. In an event where low scores are the name of the game, the Californian played his first four holes Thursday in five over to drop near the bottom of the 132-man field.
From there, though, Steele rebounded in impressive fashion. A double bogey on the par-5 13th was followed by a pair of birdies on Nos. 14-15 and a flurry of red figures coming home, as Steele birdied five of his final six holes. It all added up to a run-of-the-mill, 4-under 67: out in 39, home in 28.
Improbably, Steele nearly replicated the feat during Friday's second round. Beginning on the front nine, the 30-year-old carded just one birdie on his outward half against a pair of bogeys and a double bogey, making the turn in 3-over 38. Still 3 over on the day while standing on the 12th tee, Steele rallied with a birdie and subsequent eagle on No. 13, adding birdies on each of his closing four holes. In the end, the scorecard was eerily familiar to that of his 4-under 67 from the day prior: out in 38, home in 29.
Despite the ups and downs, Steele finds himself firmly in contention heading into the weekend at TPC Summerlin, where his 8-under 134 total placed him in a tie for eighth, seven shots behind leader Webb Simpson upon the conclusion of his second round.