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The Journal Gazette

Friday, October 06, 2017 8:20 pm

Golf

Steele, 2 others lead PGA opener

Associated Press

NAPA, Calif. – Brendan Steele opened his Safeway Open title defense Thursday with a 7-under 65 for a share of the lead with Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge in the PGA Tour’s season opener.

Lucas Glover, Chez Reavie, Emiliano Grillo and Jamie Lovemark were two shots back at 67.

Steele had an eagle, six birdies and a bogey. Last year at Silverado, he birdied the final three holes to overcome a four-shot deficit and beat Patton Kizzire by a stroke for his second PGA Tour title.

“A little bit of everything worked for me today,” Steele said. “I had a really good ball-striking day. I don’t think I missed a green, so that really helps. And then I had a good putting day as well, so you put that together and it’s going to be pretty good.

Duncan, making his first start as a PGA Tour member, also had six birdies, an eagle and a bogey.

Hoge, beginning his fourth PGA Tour season, had seven birdies. He had a back-nine 30 with six birdies.

Zach Johnson, the 12-time PGA Tour winner playing the event for the first time, had a 68 with five birdies and a bogey.

Phil Mickelson, the 42-time PGA Tour winner beginning his 27th PGA Tour season, birdied the 18th from 7 feet for a 69. Mickelson, 47, had five birdies and two bogeys.

EUROPEAN: In St. Andrews, Scotland, Paul Dunne picked up where he left off at Newcastle-upon-Tyne leading the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, along with Nicolas Colsaerts.

Four days after winning the British Masters, Dunne shot a 5-under-par 67 in the three-course event on the Old Course.