Rookie Steele on Tiger: What I Meant Was…
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Brendan Steele claims the Misquote

Brendan Steele made headlines earlier this week, but not for the ideal reason. Playing alongside Tiger Woods for the first time, Steele was quoted saying, “I don’t think (Tiger) gave it everything he had today.” On Wednesday, the rookie told GolfDigest.com that his comment was “twisted and misconstrued.”

“What I was really trying to say was that . . .when it came down to being two guys that were not going to win the golf tournament, you know, as Tiger has said, he’s working on the process of his golf swing,” said Steele, who finished T-17 to collect his first check on the PGA Tour. “He’s got it on the range, and he’s trying to make it transition over to the course, and I could see that. I could see that he was working on some shots and he really wasn’t going to win the tournament.

“You could see him, after every swing, he’s rehearsing things. He’s working hard on the mechanics of it.

“We went out there, we had a great day. He was really, really nice to me, which I appreciated, because I didn’t think he had any reason to be. He’s never met me before, doesn’t know anything about me, and, on the second hole, he came up and started talking to me and really broke the ice for me and helped me out a lot.”

“That’s just me being a rookie and not understanding that I needed to be a little more careful. In my defense, I was trying to be careful with what I said. I didn’t think I said anything negative about him. There was no bad intent. If I really thought that, and said that, I’d stand by it.

“I was trying to be really careful and people jump all over you no matter what you say about him. And I said about 10-15 things about him that I thought were really, really positive and never thought anything of it.

“It’s really upset me a lot because it was such a positive day and he was so nice to me.”

I’m not a fan of the “taken out of context” excuse, but whatever.

Brendan was being honest, so I felt bad for him as soon as I saw the comment because I knew he’d be berated. From what I’m told by several fellow rookies, Brendan is “the nicest guy” ever. One added with a shrug, “Everybody does it (mails it in) at some point.” Exactly, when you don’t have your swing, there’s only so much you can do after a while. Naturally, Steele’s candor got blown up because it was about Tiger, who always gives it his very hardest.

Welcome to the bigs?

(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)