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June 2 2013

12:00 PM

Stakes high for Chappell this year

Kevin Chappell is playing in his fourth Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

DUBLIN, Ohio -- In 2008, Kevin Chappell came to Muirfield Village Golf Club to accept the Jack Nicklaus Award.

Chappell was a senior at UCLA and had just led the Bruins to the NCAA title with a clutch par on the final hole -- winning the individual title in the process. He barely had time to celebrate before hopping into the car to drive the four hours to Dublin for the Sunday press conference with Nicklaus and the other award winners for Division II, III, NAIA and NCJAA golfers.

Chappell was, in a word, "drained." While he doesn't remember much interaction between himself and Nicklaus, he does remember the Golden Bear talking about how big one of the other award winners was and telling him to always hit it far.

"That always stuck with me, maybe Jack knows where the game is going," Chappell said. "Use size to your advantage."

Chappell was back in the same interview room on Saturday evening -- this time talking about a round of 68 that tied for the best shot in the third round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. He'll play in Sunday's final threesome, tied with Kyle Stanley and trailing Matt Kuchar by two strokes, with a chance to win his first PGA TOUR event in his 77th start.

Sunday's Jack Nicklaus Award winners -- Michael Kim of California, Alex Carpenter of Abilene Christian, Brad Shigezawa of Claremont-Mudd Scripps, Sondre Ronold of Oklahoma City and Jake Argento of South Mountain Community College -- should take note.

"It's great to be back here," said Chappell, who received a sponsor's exemption the following year. "... It's probably one of the events I've played the most on TOUR.  It will be my fourth time. And there's a comfort level with this place."

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