February 20, 2018

PGA Tour rookie Tyler Duncan keeps lead at Safeway Open

10 October 2017, 12:30 | Ken Black

Live blog 2017 Safeway Open Round 1 Robert Laberge Getty Images

Live blog 2017 Safeway Open Round 1			Robert Laberge  Getty Images

Brendan Steele stayed as focused and poised and as sharp as possible, keeping his hands tight and confidently on the clubs. Steele, who finished at 15-under par for the tournament, has now won three PGA Tour events in his career with the first being the 2011 Valero Texas Open.

"I'm proud of the way I played today". "This place is so great to me".

But he rallied to card a six-under round of 66 with three birdies and an eagle in his last five holes to sit at 13 under and is 7/1 - alongside Chesson Hadley and Tony Finau.

Steele began the final round in a tie for third place, trailing 54-hole leader Tyler Duncan by two strokes. Phil Mickelson, whose management company runs the event, is playing for the second straight year.

Steele had a big season previous year.

Making his second career PGA Tour start, Duncan leads by a stroke from defending champion Brendan Steele.

Steele didnt miss a green in regulation. That was about as hard as it can play out there.

Finau, who briefly led until a double-bogey at the 14th, also picked up a shot at the last to match Steele's 69, with Mickelson mixing five birdies with three bogeys on his way to a closing 70. After pars on 16 and 17, Finau had a 40-foot eagle putt on the 18th and settled for birdie and a 69. He called it a brutal wind, with lots of holes playing directly into the wind, with lots of uncomfortable shots.

"It (winning) really was a good springboard for me a year ago", Steele said. "It was still pretty cool". He had a back-nine 30 with six birdies. Mickelson remains winless since the 2013 Open Championship.

"My main goal previous year was to make it to the Tour Championship and unfortunately I came up a little bit short". “I had a really good ball-striking day.

Mickelson, who finished eighth here previous year, is seeking a first win since the 2013 Open Championship.

Hadley finished with a 73.

On a leaderboard filled with unfamiliar names as numerous tour's top players take a break, Chesson Hadley, who fired a course record 61 in the second round, was one shot behind Duncan after a 70.

Andrew Landry (69) and Bud Cawley (74) tied for seventh at 278.

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