Sunday, January 30, 2011

Torrey Pines teaches tyro PGA Steele tough third round

After Saturday’s round, Brendan Steele stated that he had “never played in front of crowds like that. It was a totally new experience.” But he enjoyed “the energy” of it, he said, acknowledging that he really loved it out there. Well, if he thinks he had a big crowd with him on Saturday, wait until tomorrow.

Last week, Steele said he hope to play with Tiger Woods to experience “the spectacle that is Tiger”. Only a week later, he will do that only three tournaments into his rookie season on the PGA tour.

Steele entered the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines tied with Tiger Woods at 6 under par for 36 holes. Today, Saturday, Steele experienced a grind of a day. He posted three birdies against five bogies, so he shot a two-over-par 74. And so did Woods.

The result is that both Steele and Woods are 4 under par and in a fifteen-way tie for 24th place in the tournament after 54 holes. And Steele and Woods are playing together in the same threesome Sunday. During Saturday’s round, Woods continued to draw crowds that exceeded those of all other players, despite his mediocre (for him) performance.

On Saturday, Steele overcame two strokes in penalties for unplayable lies. He said he was frustrated that it seemed he was in between clubs all day — meaning he could not reach the green with a shorter iron, but was risking going over the green with the next longer club.

Birdies were few and putts for pars and bogies were several. But he persevered and birdied the 16th hole with an 18 foot putt. Then scrambled by sinking a 12 footer on the 18th green to make a tough par, which “made me feel good going into tomorrow,” he said.

On Sunday, Steele goes off the no. 1 tee at Torrey Pines South at 8:25 a.m. He is paired with Greg Chalmers and Tiger Woods.

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