published Monday, August 15th, 2011

Steele toppled from the top

JOHNS CREEK, Ga.—Brendan Steele earned a spot in the final pairing on Sunday of the PGA Championship.

The more holes he played, the further he slipped from atop the leaderboard and CBS aired his shots less and less.

He shot a 7-over-par 77 including a double-bogey on No. 18 which added to pain of falling from first at the start of the day to a tie for 19th.

"It's terrible, it's the worst day I can remember on the golf course," Steele said. "I'm not disappointed that I didn't win. I'm disappointed that that I didn't give it a better round."

Steele, who played at Valleybrook Golf & Country Club during a U.S. Pro Golf Tour (which is now defunct) in 2006, hit 27 of his shots from bunkers on Sunday.

Yet, some day soon, he'll look back on this week as a positive experience for his young career.

"Right now it hurts," he said. "But eventually I can take a positives out of this week."

Rory reflects

Rory McIlroy has had a memorable season of majors.

He owned the 63-hole lead at the Masters only to implode and shoot an 80 in the final round. Then he rebounded to win the U.S. Open in record-setting fashion.

The British Open experience resulted in a tie for 25th. Then came the PGA Championship, hitting a tree root, icing his wrist betwen shots on Thursday, getting an MRI and playing with tape on it for the final 67 holes.

He tied for 64th at 11 over and didn't break par in any of his rounds.

"The first 2 1/2 majors, I was right there," McIlroy said. "Just one bad day on the Saturday at the [British] Open cost. me.

"I feel comfortable in these events and the win this year at the U.S. Open will give me a lot of confidence going into them again next year."

Phil gets a head early

With an early tee time, Phil Mickelson had to be aggressive, hit driver off the tee and aim at flagsticks.

He pulled his first three drives left. His third -- according to a CBS employee -- hit a patron in the head and rolled into the fairway. The stunned fan received an autographed glove for helping Mickelson hit his first fairway of the day.

Chubby Slam slammed

Clients of agent Andrew "Chubby" Chandler won the first three majors creating the potential for a Chubby Slam.

It didn't happen.

Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was his only client who had a shot. In fact, Chandler tweeted before his round, "Charl could be a real danger, his game is that good and one of few up there that knows what it's like to win a major."

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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