PALM HARBOR, Fla. – It isn’t often that a player can enjoy the turning point to his week on the third hole Thursday morning, but that’s what Brendan Steele felt in the Tampa Bay Championship opening round.
Starting on the back nine, he opened with a pair of pars before getting a lucky break on the par-4 12th hole.
“I hit a bad shot off the tee,” he later explained. “I felt like I kind of had a lot of club and I kind of quit on it and hit a pull-hook. I thought it was in the water. Got up there, it was short of the water, in the rough with a pretty good lie. Hit wedge on the green to like 6 feet and make a birdie. So all of a sudden you go from struggling and maybe making a 5 to making a 3. It turned out pretty good.”
So did the rest of his round.
Steele carded four more birdies to shoot a 3-under 68, in what were difficult scoring conditions.
He’s made the cut in all five starts so far this season and said he considered Thursday’s round among his best so far.
“I've played really solid this year,” he said. “Even the weeks that I have not finished very high, I've felt good about my game, and just been trying to put it all together. I shot 64 to make the cut on the number at Palm Desert (Humana Challenge) this year, so I would say it's up there with that round. I played four good, solid rounds at Phoenix, but yeah, it's definitely as good as I've played this year, for sure.”