Unless Brendan Steele is injured or his game is completely lost, he’s got an automatic spot in my Safeway Open power rankings.
That’s one of the perks that comes with hoisting two trophy wine casks and making the cut in all six trips to Silverado.
Brendan Steele was the back-to-back champ in 2016 (67-71-67-65) and 2017 (65-67-72-69). The 37-year-old has just one other win (2011 Texas Open), but he’s forged a lengthy career on the PGA Tour.
He’s a top-100 player in the world and has been playing pretty well since the June restart.
After missing the cut in the first event back at Colonial, the man of Steele ripped off six straight made cuts to earn his way into the BMW Championship. He didn’t make it to the Tour Championship, but a T-33rd to cap his season is nothing to frown about.
Steele is just looking to get over the hump. Of the six cuts I mentioned, he’s done no worse than T-53rd but no better than T-6th (Travelers Championship).
He did have a solo second in January at the Sony Open and was T-4th at the Honda Classic.
The UC-Riverside graduate finished 2019-2020 ranked 19th in strokes gained approach (.539 per round). His length (40th driving distance, 303.6) will help him on the par-5s and his iron play will help him take care of the rest.
Short game is his weakness, but look for him to hit enough greens to negate that.