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April 17 2012

9:54 PM

Steele: It’s a ‘brutally hard’ course

Interview: Brendan Steele

The defending Valero Texas Open champion describes how he won at a tough venue in 2011.

Valero Texas Open defending champion Brendan Steele's assessment of TPC San Antonio?

"Brutally hard."

Indeed, Steele's description is backed up by last year's statistics, as the par-72 TPC San Antonio course had the highest scoring average of any PGA TOUR event (73.665), and ranked fourth highest in average strokes over par (1.665).

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Steele

The course also ranked in the top five in such categories as toughest fairways to hit, toughest greens to hit, toughest approaches in several distances and lowest par-5 birdie or better percentage, and also ranked No. 1 in toughest putting course.

Steele won last year with a score of 8 under, with winds from the south offering little mercy for players.

"A lot of guys have talked to me about it," Steele said Tuesday. "They wanted to know what it was like. A few of guys talked to me and said, 'Wow, that sounds great, sounds like the kind of course I like' and they committed to the field this year.

"It's a really good course, very big challenge. ... It's so tough that a lot of guying 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 kind week-in, week-out."

Steele did make a point of saying the course was hard but not unfair.

"I don't think there's anything about the course that's unfair even when the wind blows that hard," he said. "It demands really good shots and if you don't hit them, you're going to pay the price.

"There's a difference between it being unfair and just being hard, and there's definitely nothing that's unfair about it."

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