Steele shows his mettle

06 October 2017 05:16:03 EST

Defending champion Brendan Steele showed his liking for Silverado Golf Resort once more after ending the first round of the Safeway Open in a three-way tie for the lead on seven-under-par.

Steele won the title 12 months ago thanks to a closing 65 and he matched that score in his opener on Thursday. His lap of the California course included an eagle and a run of five birdies in six holes on his opening nine.

It left him topping the leaderboard alongside fellow Americans Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge, the trio two shots clear of Lucas Glover, Chez Reavie, Jamie Lovemark and Emiliano Grillo, the 2015 winner.

Steele hit all 18 greens in regulation and spoke later of his comfort level at Silverado where he's now 42-under for his last 13 rounds.

"When you get there, you get a little bounce in your step because you feel like it's going to be a good week," Steele said. "For some reason, I've just always had a good understanding of this course."

This event marks the start of the new 2017/18 PGA Tour season and, although the previous one finished just two weeks ago, Steele said he still had the feeling of being able to wipe the slate clean.

"I think there's something to the start of the season with everybody being back to zero, it's kind of a fresh start - which, whether you played good or bad last year, it's kind of nice," the 34-year-old added.

Steele is 1/1000 to win the Safeway Open for the second year running. Grillo is 4000/1 and Zach Johnson 1000/1.

View all Golf betting