Steele rallies to win PGA opener

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Brendan Steele kisses the Safe way Open trophy Sunday after rallying to win the event in Napa, Calif.

NAPA, Calif. — Right when Brendan Steele thought he might have a chance to win at Silverado, all he could think about was how he lost.

A year ago, Steele had a 54-hole lead in the PGA Tour’s season opener when he made a sloppy bogey on the 12th hole, shot 40 on the back nine and threw it away.

He was two shots behind on Sunday in the Safeway Open with little room for error when he three-putted No. 12 for bogey and figured he was done.

“I thought that was it for me,” Steele said. “I thought I would have to do something special. Last year, I tried not to make mistakes.”

This time, he made birdies.

Steele overcame a four-shot deficit in the final round, closed with three straight birdies on rain-soaked Silverado for a 7-under 65 and won by one shot over a faltering Patton Kizzire.

LPGA Tour

INCHEON, South Korea — Carlota Ciganda beat Alison Lee with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff at the KEB HanaBank Championship after each player lost big leads.

The 26-year-old Spaniard won her first LPGA Tour title with a 6-foot putt after Lee’s birdie chip from the rough off the back edge of the green missed a half-inch to the right.

Ciganda overcame a five-stroke deficit to Lee, then blew a five-stroke advantage on the final five holes — getting into the playoff when Lee bogeyed the par-5 18th after hitting into the water.

Ciganda played the final five holes in 4 over — making a double bogey on 14 and bogeys on 16 and 18 — for a 2-over 70 at Sky 72. Three strokes ahead of U.S. Women’s Open champion Brittany Lang entering the day, Lee had a 75 to match Ciganda at 10-under 278 on the Ocean Course.

PGA Tour Champions

CARY, N.C. — Doug Garwood ran away with the SAS Championship for his first PGA Tour Champions title, closing with an 8-under 64 for a four-stroke victory.

The 53-year-old Garwood won in his 44th start on the 50-and-over tour. He finished at 16-under 200 in the regular-season finale at Prestonwood Country Club.

Garwood birdied the last three holes on the front nine for a 6-under 30, made it four in a row on the par-4 10th, added birdies on the par-5 13th and 16th and closed with a bogey.

Bernhard Langer, two strokes ahead of Garwood and Larry Mize entering the day, had a 70 to finish second. Mize shot a 69 to tie for third with Tom Byrum (65) and Jeff Sluman (68) at 11 under.


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