Due to expected inclement weather in the afternoon, final-round tee times were between 9:00 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. in threesomes off tee Nos. 1 and 10. Play was suspended at 12:25 p.m. when heavy rain led to unplayable conditions. Play resumed at 2:20 p.m. for a total delay of one hour and 55 minutes.
Due to wet conditions, preferred lies in closely-mown areas were utilized in the final three rounds.
Brendan Steele 67-71-67-65—270 (-18)
Patton Kizzire 64-71-66-70—271 (-17)
Paul Casey 64-68-71-69—272 (-16)
Michael Kim 73-67-65-67—272 (-16)
Scott Piercy 62-67-73-70—272 (-16)
Johnson Wagner 65-67-70-70—272 (-16)
After entering the final round of the Safeway Open trailing Patton Kizzire by four strokes, Brendan Steele carded a 7-under 65 Sunday (including birdies on his final three holes) to finish 18-under 270, good for a one-stroke victory over Kizzire.
Steele’s second PGA TOUR victory (2011 Valero Texas Open) comes in his 153rd PGA TOUR start at the age of 33 years, six months and 11 days.
Steele earns 500 FedExCup points to take the season’s initial lead in the FedExCup standings.
With the exception of his sophomore season in 2012 (No. 130), Steele has advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs every year on the PGA TOUR (63rd in 2016, 50th in 2015, 79th in 2014, 70th in 2013, 52nd in 2011).
Steele is coming off of a 63rd place finish in the FedExCup, advancing to the BMW Championship, where his season ended with a T64 finish. He posted just two top-10 finishes last season (T3-CIMB Classic, T5-Barracuda Championship).
Steele, a two-time TOUR winner, becomes just the second Safeway Open champion in the last six seasons with a victory on his resume prior to winning the Safeway Open (2014 champion Sangmoon Bae had previously won the 2013 AT&T Byron Nelson).
Steele wins in his sixth start at the Safeway Open (T7-2011, MC-2012, MC-2013, T21-2014, T17-2015, 1-2016).
A year ago, Steele carried a one-stroke lead over Kevin Na and Andrew Loupe into the final round of the Safeway Open. In his attempt to become the second wire-to-wire winner at the event, Steele recorded a 4-over 76 (including a 40 on the back nine) in the final round to finish T17.
There have been seven come-from-behind winners in the 10-year history of the Safeway Open: Steele (2016), Emiliano Grillo (2015), Jimmy Walker (2013), Jonas Blixt (2012), Bryce Molder (2011), Cameron Beckman (2008), Mike Weir (2007).
Steele’s stats for the week;
Driving Accuracy: 36 of 56 (T5)
Greens Hit in Regulation: 54 of 72 (T21)
Strokes Gained: Putting: +6.546 (6)
Strokes Gained: Approach The Green: +4.324 (8)
Strokes Gained: Off The Tee: +1.600 (20)
Sand Saves: 4 of 4 (T1)
About Brendan Steele
Height/Weight: 6-2, 175
Birthdate: April 5, 1983
Birthplace: Idyllwild, California
Residence: Irvine, California
Family: Wife, Anastassia
Education: University of California-Riverside (2005, Business Administration)
Turned Pro: 2005
Joined PGA TOUR: 2011
Web.com Tour graduate: 2010
Third-round leader Patton Kizzire entered the final round with a one-stroke lead over Scott Piercy before carding a final-round 2-under 70 to finish solo second, one behind Brendan Steele.
Kizzire posts his second runner-up finish in 32 PGA TOUR starts, having finished T2 at the 2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, his first start of the 2015-16 season.
Kizzire is a two-time winner on the Web.com Tour (2015 Utah Championship, 2015 News Sentinel Open).
Kizzire earned his way onto the PGA TOUR last season as a rookie by virtue of being the leader of combined money in the 2015 Web.com Tour Regular Season and Finals.
Kizzire falls to 0-2 when carrying the lead/co-lead into the final round. In his first attempt, he went on to finish T4 at the 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship.
Additional Player Notes
Defending champion Emiliano Grillo finished T26 in his attempt to become the first two-time winner of the Safeway Open.
Paul Casey’s last four starts on the PGA TOUR:
2nd – Deutsche Bank Championship (13-under)
2nd – BMW Championship (20-under)
4th – TOUR Championship (9-under)
T3 – Safeway Open (16-under)
Michael Kim, a product of University of California-Berkeley, closed with a 5-under 67 to finish T3 in his second Safeway Open start (T61-2015). It represents his first top-10 finish on TOUR in 34 starts.
After opening the week with a course-record 10-under 62, Scott Piercy closed with rounds of 67-73-70 to finish T3.
In search of his fourth career PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2012 Sony Open in Hawaii, Johnson Wagner finished T3 following a final-round 2-under 70. In four prior Safeway Open starts, a T48 in 2015 was his best outing.
Kevin Na finished seventh for his fourth top-15-finish in his last four starts at the Safeway Open: 2011 (T15), 2013 (T3), 2015 (2), 2016 (7).
Chris Kirk closed with three consecutive birdies for a final-round 6-under 66, finishing T8 in his second-career start at the Safeway Open (T81-2015).
After opening with a 3-over 75, 2015 CIMB Classic winner Justin Thomas closed 66-66-67 to finish T8, one year after finishing T3 at the Safeway Open.
Following three-consecutive 3-under 69s, Phil Mickelson carded a 5-under 67 Sunday to finish T8, four strokes behind Brendan Steele. He hit just 25 of 56 fairways this week at Silverado’s North Course. In Mickelson’s only previous start at the Safeway Open in 2007, he missed the cut at his (then) home course of Grayhawk Golf Club.
Fourteen of the 21 2016-17 PGA TOUR Rookies in this week’s Safeway Open field made the cut. Of that group, Cody Gribble managed the best finish, posting four under-par rounds to finish T8.Brendan Steele