Golf

Brendan Steele rallies to win Safeway Open in Napa

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AP

Brendan Steele rallies to win Safeway Open in Napa

Rain continued to delay the conclusion of the season's first event, but when Silverado Resort dried out it was Brendan Steele who left with the trophy. Here's how things ended up at the Safeway Open, where Steele rallied for a one-shot win:

Leaderboard: Brendan Steele (-18), Patton Kizzire (-17), Johnson Wagner (-16), Paul Casey (-16), Michael Kim (-16), Scott Piercy (-16)

What it means: Steele started the final round with the lead at this event last year, but shot a closing 76 to fall well off the pace. This time around, he used a flurry of birdies down the stretch to catch and pass Kizzire, then Steele sat back and watched a number of challengers fail to reach his clubhouse total. The one-shot win is the second of his PGA Tour career, and first since he won the 2011 Valero Texas Open as a rookie.

Round of the day: Steele began the last round four shots behind Kizzire, but he quickly chiseled away at the gap with four front-nine birdies, then closed with three more birdies over his final three holes to shoot 65 and post the number to beat. That finishing stretch included an 18-footer on No. 17 as well as a 7-footer on the final hole to break out of a tie with Kizzire.

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Tiger Woods' return ends with best finish in four years

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USATSI

Tiger Woods' return ends with best finish in four years

NASSAU, Bahamas — Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods both had cause for celebrations large and small at the Hero World Challenge.

Fowler rallied from a seven-shot deficit by opening with seven straight birdies at Albany Golf Club and closing with an 11-under 61 Sunday for his second victory worldwide. It was the second time in his eight years on tour that he won multiple times around the world.

Woods had his best finish in four years.

Playing for the first time in 10 months while recovering from a fourth back surgery, Woods closed with a 68 despite a bogey-bogey finish. Even so, his back felt good and he was swinging at full strength. He tied for ninth in the 18-man field, his best result since a playoff loss at this holiday event in 2013.

Tiger Woods roars in return to golf after 10-month layoff

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USATSI

Tiger Woods roars in return to golf after 10-month layoff

NASSAU, Bahamas — Tiger Woods looked a lot better in his return to golf than he did when he left.

Playing for the first time since his fourth back surgery, Woods returned from a 10-month layoff with a 3-under 69 on a breezy Thursday in the Bahamas and was three shots behind Tommy Fleetwood after the opening round of the Hero World Challenge.

Unlike a year ago, Woods didn't show any fatigue at the end of his round. His only regret was playing the par 5s at Albany Golf Club in 1-over par. That included a bogey on the par-5 ninth when he took four shots from about 30 feet, starting with a chip that didn't reach the green.

He made five birdies, had a few fist pumps and even a few choice words.