Steele back in 'special place'
Brendan Steele returns to the scene of his greatest triumph this week when he defends his maiden PGA Tour title at the Valero Texas Open.
The 28-year-old Californian tasted victory in his rookie season in 2011 by holing a seven-foot par putt on the 18th at TPC San Antonio to win by a single stroke from Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman.
Steele told a press conference: "It's an awesome feeling to come back to this course where I have so many good memories. It's always going to have a special place in my heart. The golf course is in perfect shape and sets up good for my game."
Another good result this week would be timely for Steele, who has struggled to build on last year's success and goes into the tournament on the back of three missed cuts, most recently at the Masters.
He said: "Winning in my rookie year was something that I never even dreamed that I would be able to do so it's a little bit hard almost to keep yourself, not motivated, but it's a where do we go from here type thing.
"I've been trying to fight through that, and I haven't had a lot of success over the last few weeks but I think that I've learned a lot.
"I don't think there's a lot wrong with my game. I think my approach has been a little bit off so I'm just trying to make that transition and start moving in the right direction."
Steele will tee off on Thursday alongside Kevin Na and Bud Cauley while probably the standout group features in-form Johnson Wagner, KJ Choi and Matt Kuchar.
It is certainly not a field overflowing with star names, which Steele believes may have something to do with the brutal nature of the course.
He said: "It's a really good course, a very big challenge. Some guys aren't going to like it but that's the way it is every week on Tour.
"It's so tough that a lot of guys are going to be walking away shaking their heads. I think it's a good test and it's a little different test than we see week in, week out.
"But I don't think there's anything about the course that's unfair, even when the wind blows hard. It demands really good shots and, if you don't hit them, you're going to pay the price."
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