Brendan Steele Wins the Valero Texas Open
Brendan Steele made par on the 72nd hole of the Valero Texas Open to earn his first career PGA TOUR victory. Steele, who celebrated his 28th birthday twelve days ago, was making his 12th PGA TOUR start.
Steele who won the Nationwide Tour Championship last season earns $1,116,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points for the victory. His win also earns his a two year exemption on the PGA TOUR and a spot in the 2012 Masters.
Steele's 1-under par on Sunday was good enough to hold off charges from TOUR veteran Charley Hoffman and fellow youngster Kevin Chappell. Chappell, a graduate of UCLA, was tied with Steele heading into the 17th but made bogey to fall one stroke back heading into the 18th. Hoffman shot a 4-under, 32, on the front nine to move to 7-under par for the tournament. The back nine was a different story with a bogey and just one birdie on the 18th to get back to within one stroke. It's the first top 10 of the year for Hoffman and just the second top 10 for Chappell in his 16th career start.
Valero Texas Open Notables
The 2010 Valero Texas Open Champion, Adam Scott, came into Sunday within striking distance but managed only one birdie and shot a 4-over, 76, to finish the tournament at even par in a tie for 23rd. Geoff Ogilvy had high expectations after contending for The Masters last weekend. Ogilvy was in contention coming into the weekend but recorded seven bogies and a double bogey over the final two rounds. A 2-over par Saturday and 1-over on Sunday dropped him to even par in a tie for 23rd.
Martin Laird, one of three players in the tournament with a PGA TOUR victory in 2011, birdied the 17th and 18th moving him 3-under for the tournament, good enough to tie for 9th. It's Laird's fourth top 10 of the year to go along with his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The PGA TOUR heads to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for The Heritage. Jim Furyk was the 2010 Champion.