Americans dominate PGA season opener

Americans dominate PGA season opener

Americans dominate PGA season opener

Phil Mickelson, seven shots behind Duncan entering the round after consecutive 69s, had 68 to join Bill Haas (69), Tony Finau (71) and Andrew Putnam (69) at 10 under.

When seeking to defend the title he won previous year, Brendan Steele returned to a club that helped him to victory at the 2016 Safeway Open-his Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura X7 putter. Mickelson is a 42-time PGA Tour champion, a World Golf Hall of Fame member, and the victor of five majors.

Chez Reavie, Lucas Glover, Jamie Lovemark and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo are tied for fourth at 67.

Among the standout shots was a deft chip from a bunker on the par-five 16th which led to an easy two-foot par for a birdie.

Steele, who has two wins on the Tour, recorded five birdies in a six-hole stretch from number 13 to number 18.

Defending champion Brendan Steele is a shot further back and eased to 11/2 from 11/4 overnight.

"A little bit of everything worked for me today", Steele said.

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"Those are the only people I know that have had such success in one season multiple times, and they've had to deal with resetting their goals and re-evaluating", he said. His last top-10 on the PGA Tour was in the Players Championship back in May.

"I had seen the weather forecast for the whole week, that Sunday was going to be windy and it seems like Sunday's always the hardest day on the PGA Tour for whatever reason, the weather comes in".

Phil Mickelson, the 42-time PGA Tour victor beginning his 27th PGA Tour season, birdied the 18th from 7 feet for a 69.

Hadley finished 12 strokes under par, tied with Phil Mickleson. "I was hitting great shots, good putts and got some good breaks".

Brendan Steele is a warm 11/4 favourite for his second Safeway Open title in as many years after a second round of 67 left him one shot off the lead at the halfway point.

The sole blot on his copybook was a bogey on the sixth hole in Napa, California, where he leads alongside fellow Americans Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge, the latter hitting six birdies on the back nine to put himself into contention. For the shortened week, he carded seven birdies against nine bogeys and a double.

It was the 47-year-old Mickelson's 27th third-place finish in 27 PGA Tour seasons to along with 42 career wins and 34 runner-up finishes. He finished with a 75 and in a tie for fifth place. He has not played a PGA Tour-sanctioned event since the 2015 Presidents Cup.

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