2017-10-06 / State/National Sports

Steele, Duncan share Safeway lead

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — 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.

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

“I thought the course would fit my game because hitting the fairways is important,” said Duncan, whose only other PGA Tour event was the 2015 U.S. Open. “There are a lot of sections in the greens that you’ve got to hit into and to hit it into those sections from the rough is pretty challenging.”

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

“I played really well the whole day,” said Hoge, whose PGA Tour career best is a tie for fourth in August at the Barracuda Open. “I was in a lot of fairways, on a lot of greens and the made a few putts.”

Steele didn’t miss a green in regulation.

“The greens are not holding very well, you have to be in the fairway,” Steele said.

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