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Monday, October 17, 2016

The Limerick Summary: 2016 Safeway Open

Winner: Brendan Steele

Around the wider world of golf: Carlota Ciganda got her first LPGA victory at the the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Classic; Nicole Broch Larsen won the Symetra Tour Championship on -- what else? -- the Symetra Tour; Pavit Tangkamolprasert won the Venetian Macao Open on the Asian Tour; Alex Noren got his third ET title of the season at the British Masters; Doug Garwood won the SAS Championship on the Champions Tour; Hideki Matsuyama won the Japan Open Golf Championship on the Japan Golf Tour; Guillermo Pereira won the Roberto De Vicenzo Punta del Este Open Copa NEC on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; and Anne Van Dam won the Xiamen International Ladies Open on the LET.

Brendan Steele with Safeway Open 'trophy'

Maybe it's just as well Tiger decided not to play the Safeway Open this week. Between the flooding and cold weather and odd hours and the mad dash on Sunday afternoon, it probably wasn't the best way to reintroduce his bad back to the game.

And it was a mad dash for sure! Players would surge forward, drop back, shuffle around and suddenly fire unexpectedly good shots to get back in the game. It looked for the longest time as if Patton Kizzire would grab his first PGA Tour win but, like so many other players, he stumbled coming down the final stretch.

Many players like Kevin Na, Paul Casey, Scott Piercy and Johnson Wagner -- who tend to play well in Napa Valley -- put up their typical good numbers and finished well. They just couldn't get over the hump to win the thing. Nobody could.

Nobody except Brendan Steele, that is. Steele hadn't won in 5 years, and he started the day 5 shots back from the lead. And it was all complicated by the fact that he got that original win with a belly putter, so he didn't really have the good thoughts to draw on as he worked his way into contention.

Well, he has them now. All he did was birdie 16, 17 and 18 to post at -18, a single stroke ahead of Kizzire... and it was enough. Steele is back in the winner's circle again.

And this time he did it with a short putter.

But there was such an odd rhythm to the event, what with all the interruptions I mentioned earlier, that it seemed only proper that I find a way to immortalize that in his second-ever Limerick Summary. Don't worry, it's easy enough to read; it just sounds a bit unusual:
Steele started the day, he was five down…
But that changed as he played his last round!
With three holes to go
He put on quite a show—
With a short putter, Brendan's now quite sound.
The photo came from the tournament upshot page at

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