Americans dominate PGA season opener

Steele off to hot start in defence of title

Steele off to hot start in defence of title

Brendan Steele erased a two-shot deficit in the final round and completed a successful defense of his Safeway Open championship on Sunday in Napa, Calif.

Five-time major champion Mickelson went on a run of five birdies in six holes on the front nine.

Emiliano Grillo, the 2015 tournament victor, shot 68 to match Graham DeLaet (69) at 11 under. The winds blew out of the north - unusual for this area - at up to 25 miles per hour, creating an added challenge with driving, approach shots, the short game and controlling the ball on the par-72 course that measures 7,166 yards.

World number 29 Phil Mickelson may not have been in the best form over the last few years but that has not deterred him from seeing the amusing side of his wayward hitting.

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Steele made birdies on Nos.

Phil Mickelson was one of the pre-tournament favourites but he dropped three places to a share of 15th with his round of 69 and is now seven shots from the lead. After all that, it was no surprise when the tour said Wednesday that Thomas had been voted the PGA Tour player of the year. "So it was nice to get going right away here in Napa and keep the momentum going", he said.

"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.

“A little bit of everything worked for me today, ” Steele said. Errant driving throughout the week perhaps cost the Hall of Famer his 43 PGA Tour victory.

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Steele was tied with fellow Americans Tom Hoge and Tyler Duncan heading into the second round of the Tour's season-opening event for 2017-18 at the Silverado Resort and Spa. A bogey-free 7-under 65 put Hatton, a second-round co-leader, at 18-under 198 and in a commanding position to defend the title he won by four shots a year ago.

Phil Mickelson, seeking his first win in since 2013, shot his second 69 to be at six-under in a tie for 15th. He had an eagle, 10 birdies and a bogey.

After a bogey on the second hole, Mickelson birdied five of his last six holes on the front nine to move to 11 under and within two shots of the lead.

Steele finished at 14-under 273 for his third PGA Tour title. He finished with a 75 and in a tie for fifth place. He nailed just about each one except for finishing in the top 10 at half of his PGA Tour events.

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