One rookie holds off another for PGA win

SAN ANTONIO — Rookie Brendan Steele shot 1-under 71 on Sunday, overcoming relentless wind and fellow first-year PGA Tour player Kevin Chappell to win the Texas Open by a stroke.

The leader by one heading into the final round, Steele stayed steady and finished 8 under par. He gave a small fist pump, then thrust his arm down and smiled broadly to celebrate his first Tour victory after holing out on 18.

"I was a lot more calm today," Steele said. "When you've got the one-shot lead it's not even your tournament. There's so many guys that could still win with a good round, without you even doing anything wrong, that I didn't feel as much pressure."

The tournament featured the Tour's highest scoring average, 73.665, this year and Steele's 280 was the highest winning score at the Texas Open since 1934, when Willy Cox shot 283.

Steele, 28, birdied the par-5 second hole, dropping his approach from a bunker to within 10 feet of the pin, then bogeyed par-4 No. 5, leaving a 12-foot putt from the fringe short. But Steele put his tee shot within 3 feet on par-3 No. 7 to move back to 8 under, and closed out with all pars.

Chappell had two birdies on the front nine, then put his second shot to within 7 feet on par-4 No. 10 to grab a share of the lead. The 24-year-old stayed tied until hitting his approach on the par-4 17th well right, then missing a 10-footer to save par.

"I'll be honest, I think I just fell asleep," said Chappell, who led UCLA to a national championship in 2008. "I felt the wind was dead into me … I should have known it was a little left to right."

It was the first time since the 2006 Phoenix Open that two Tour rookies finished 1-2 at a tournament.

TEEN WINNER: Italian teen Matteo Manassero won the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur for his second European Tour title, upstaging a remarkable recovery by Rory McIlroy. Manassero, two days before his 18th birthday, holed his approach for eagle on the par-5 10th and birdied the next hole to surge into the lead. He closed with 4-under 68 for 272 total and a one-shot victory over Gregory Bourdy. McIlroy, bouncing back from his final-round collapse last week at the Masters, needed birdie on the final hole to force a playoff. His putt never had a chance, and McIlroy wound up three-putting for a bogey that gave him 69 and third place alone.

One rookie holds off another for PGA win 04/17/11 [Last modified: Sunday, April 17, 2011 10:28pm]

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