This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.
In 2016, Brendan Steele won the season-opening Safeway Open and went on to have by far his best season. He was followed on the leaderboard by, in order, Patton Kizzire, Paul Casey, Michael Kim, Scott Piercy, Johnson Wagner and Kevin Na. Only one, Casey, had a good season.
So what to make of the first golf tournament of 2017-18? Well, Steele won again, which tells us he really, really enjoys the Silverado North Course. After that, as we can see above, it's impossible to draw any conclusions, except to say that it's hard to expect the results of any golf tournament to greatly impact future events.
For what it's worth, Steele this time was followed on the final leaderboard on Sunday by Tony Finau, Phil Mickelson, Chesson Hadley, Graham DeLaet, Tyler Duncan, Andrew Landry and Bud Cauley, some of whom we expand on below.
Getting back to a year ago for a moment – does anyone remember that two golfers now in the top 5 in the world, Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm, were also in the relatively weak field but were non-factors? Thomas tied for eighth and Rahm for 15th.
Less than seven weeks ago, Steele entered the playoffs at No. 16 in the points standings, almost a lock to advance to the 30-man Tour Championship. But he played so poorly in the first three playoff events – MC, T56, T44 – that he didn't make it to the fourth. (In fact, Steele had been playing poorly since July,