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Brendon Steele claims maiden PGA Tour title

Brendan Steele held his nerve on an error-free back nine for a one-shot victory over compatriots Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman to clinch his maiden PGA Tour title at the Texas Open on Sunday.

Steele, a 28-year-old rookie who had not played a single round on the PGA Tour until this season, began the day with a one-shot lead and made it hold up during another wind-whipped afternoon at the TPC San Antonio carding a final round one-under-par 71.

After a birdie at the second followed by his only bogey of the round at the fifth and another birdie at seven, Steele reeled off 11 consecutive pars to finish with a winning total of eight-under 280.

“I don’t even really know what happened,” said Steele, a winner in his 12th PGA Tour start. “Kevin and I were kind of battling it out there the last few holes, then he made the mistake on 17 and I made a mistake on 18 but I was able to sneak in the putt for par.

“So I’m not even sure what is going on right now, I’m just trying to capture it all in my mind.”

Chappell had mounted an early charge dropping his third birdie of the day at the 10th to join Steele atop the leaderboard setting the stage for a back nine shootout.

But the two PGA Tour rookies, playing together in the last threesome, would match each other par-for-par until Chappell blinked with a bogey at the 17th and settled for a two-under 70 to finish joint second with Hoffman, who closed with a 68.

“I’ll be honest, I think I just fell asleep,” said Chappell about his only bogey. “I felt the wind was dead into me and I kind of hit left centre of the fairway.

“I should have known it was a little left to right and I actually felt like I struck the ball the way I wanted to.

“When I found the ball in flight, it was right of the hole and like whoa, what just happened?

“I hit a good pitch from where I was and actually feel like I hit a good putt to hit it a little hard.

“I hit it where I was aiming.”

Brandt Snedeker battled his way to a 71 to sit alone in fourth two behind the leader on six-under 282, while Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson (69) and Americans Pat Perez (71) and Cameron Tringale (73) finished one shot further adrift at 283.

Scores

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