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Golf rooting interest for Los Angeles Kings fans

January 19, 2011 |  3:45 pm

Brendan Steele, a 27-year-old graduate of UC Riverside, a native of Hemet and an on-the-rise golfer, has as part of his dream foursome Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux and his favorite pro sports team is the Kings.

Steele shot a five-under-par 67 on Wednesday on the La Quinta course in the first round of the Bob Hope Classic, which has him three shots behind early leader J.J. Henry.

This tournament is kind of his hometown place, Steele said. He remembered coming as a 9-year-old and walking away with an autograph from Corey Pavin, a memory that made a deep impression, he said. Last year Steele was playing on the Nationwide Tour, something like the minor leagues for pro golfers. "I've progressively gotten better since I turned pro in 2005," Steele said after his Wednessday round. "I had a step from the Canadien Tour to the Nationwide and now the PGA Tour.

"I had a little more nerves today than I had playing the Nationwide Tour the last couple of years. I started getting pretty comfortable out there, knowing I belonged. Out here I'm trying to just kind of find my way. I know if I play my game I'll be fine but it's hard to keep it in your mind out there sometimes."

Steele also has a Hollywood connection. Anyone familiar with daytime soap operas would probably know Steele's uncle, Anthony Geary, who has played the character of Luke on "General Hospital."

-- Diane Pucin

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