The 28-year-old Californian tasted victory in his rookie season in 2011 by holing a seven-foot par putt on the 18th at TPC San Antonio to win by a single stroke.
And he said: “It’s an awesome feeling to come back to this course where I have so many good memories. It’s always going to have a special place in my heart. ”
Another good result this week would be timely for Steele, who has struggled to build on last year’s success and goes into the tournament on the back of three missed cuts, most recently at the Masters. He added: “Winning in my rookie year was something I never even dreamed that I would be able to do. It’s a ‘where do we go from here’ thing. I’ve been trying to fight through that.”
Steele tees off alongside Kevin Na and Bud Cauley and, in a field not overflowing with star names probably the standout group features in-form Johnson Wagner, KJ Choi and Matt Kuchar.
Steele added: “It’s a really good course, a very big challenge. Some guys aren’t going to like it but that’s the way it is every week on Tour.
“A lot of guys are going to be walking away shaking their heads. It’s a little different test than we see week in, week out but I don’t think there’s anything about the course that’s unfair.”