By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Kevin Chappell didn't exactly get off to the best of starts Friday during the second round of THE PLAYERS Championship.
He hit his drive at the 10th hole 50 yards right into the trees, missed the green with his second shot and had to make a 20-footer to save par. Chappell played his next three holes in 4 under, though, and was off to the races -- firing a career-low 66 on the Stadium Course to finish at 9 under.
"It's big to feel like you can take advantage of the golf course," Chappell said. "I had momentum going the right direction, and it seems to be when you get the ball rolling out here, you can take advantage. But if you get behind the eight-ball it's tough to make up ground."
Chappell, who is dealing with some chest congestion that left him feeling a little "spacey" on his final nine, ended the day with six birdies, two bogeys and the eagle. His previous career-low was the 68 he shot in the final round of the 2011 PLAYERS, his debut, and this week is the first time in three starts he's broken 70 in consecutive rounds.
Chappell's spurt started when he made an 11-footer for eagle at the 11th hole, then added birdies at Nos. 12, 13 and 16. Bogeys at Nos. 18 and 1 were a momentary setback but he bounced back with a 16-footer for birdie at the par-5 second and a 10-footer at No. 4 before capping the round with a 5-footer for birdie at the par-5 ninth.
"The course is in great condition," Chappell said. "The greens are rolling as pure as anything we've played all year, so you get the ball on line it's going to go in the hole. That's going to lead to good scores, and there hasn't been any wind. The more wind and the firmer the greens get the tougher it's going to be."
Chappell, who played golf at UCLA, has had a feast-or-famine kind of year. He tied for eighth at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, then missed the cut in six of his next seven start before tying for sixth at the Shell Houston Open. He came to TPC Sawgrass after missing the secondary cut at the Wells Fargo Championship.
"Interesting," Chappell said when asked to characterize his season. "My good finishes have been great. My weekend scoring average is nice, just have to get there. I haven't done that too many times but looking forward to the challenge of this weekend."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The last time Kevin Chappell had played in a PGA TOUR event he was trying to preserve his playing privileges for the 2013 campaign.
Chappell came into the season-ending Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic last fall ranked No. 123rd on the money list. He ended up tying for 34th, dropping two spots and keeping his card by a mere $1,809,
Chappell made his 2013 debut a much more memorable experience when he closed with a career-low 62 at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. He started on the back nine and flirted with the magic 59, making 11 birdies but three-putting his final hole.
Chappell was rewarded with a top-10 finish, his first since he tied for 10th at last year's U.S. Open.
"I said to my caddie walking up 18, this is a lot better than where I was end of last year, fighting to keep my card," Chappell said. "It's good to get those nerves going again and a nice way to break off the rust."
Chappell, who started the day 10 strokes off the lead, said golf's Holy Grail entered his mind when he came to the 18th hole -- where David Duval made that memorable eagle to shoot 59 in his 1999 victory.
"I hit it on David Duval's plaque on 18," Chappel;l said. "And I said, Well, David Duval made it from here. I said to my caddie, I probably hit it to right where he hit that putt from. The pin's a little bit further left. And then I hit a mediocre eagle putt, but I tapped it in for birdie."
"I knew it would be tough having to make birdie on the ninth hole to shoot 59 or even hole it from the fairway just because it's a tough finishing hole, but it was in there. But it never was the goal. I just wanted to keep hitting good shots and stick to my process and see what it added up to."
Chappell made 11 birdies and the lone bogey at No. 9. His previous low on TOUR was a 65.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The 59 watch is officially on.
Kevin Chappell is 9 under through 13 holes -- with one par 5, one par 3 and three par 4s remaining. The Californian has moved to 21 under along with David Lingmerth and Brian Gay, which puts the trio four strokes behind Scott Stallings.
A 59 would not be unprecedented at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. David Duval shot one in 1999 when he came from a record seven strokes off the pace to win.
Chappell started the day at 12 under, which was 10 strokes behind Stallings. Chappell's best finish on TOUR is a tie for second at the Valero Texas Open in 2011.
Chappell's lowest round on the PGA TOUR is the 65 he shot in the first round of the Humana Challenge a year ago.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Yes, Scott Stallings has the upper hand. But make no mistake, there are birdies to be had at the Palmer Private Course on Sunday.
You have to look no farther than Kevin Chappell, who started on the back nine. He has surged into a tie for second at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation after playing his first 12 holes in 8 under.
Chappell, who is from Fresno, made six birdies on the back nine and added another pair on Nos. 1 and 2. He's 20 under and tied with David Lingmerth, who is 5 under through seven holes on the front, and Brian Gay, who is 4 under through six.
Stallings, though, has made three straight birdies starting at the second hole. So his lead remains five strokes.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Kevin Chappell was able to do something nobody else has achieved this week at the Olympic Club -- go bogey-free for his round.
Chappell's 2-under 68 included birdies at the par-4 second and the par-4 11th ... and 16 pars.
"As easy as I could have made it," said Chappell, who will enter Sunday's final round at 3 over and inside the top 10 on the leaderboard.
One of his toughest pars came at the shortest hole on the course, the par-3 15th that was playing at 107 yards on Thursday. Chappell needed an 8-footer from off the green to keep his scorecard clean.
"Shows you that the distance is kind of irrelevant," Chappell said.
A year ago, Chappell finished tied for third at Congressional, shooting three rounds in the 60s after opening with a 76.
But he doesn't think he'll be able to draw upon any of those experiences.
"Different golf tournament," said Chappell, who joined the PGA TOUR in 2011 and is still looking for his first TOUR win. "Last year we were trying to make birdies in the U.S. Open, and here you're trying to just survive.
"If I can go out tomorrow and play a round of golf like I did today, we'll see what happens."
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the Valero Texas Open below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
|K.J. Choi vs. Matt Kuchar||These two technicians are each seeking first win of year|
|Brendan Steele vs. Johnson Wagner||Defending champion takes on No. 5 in FedExCup points|
|Justin Leonard vs. Harrison Frazar||These two Texans have played together for almost 30 years|
|Charley Hoffman vs. Kevin Chappell||These two finished a shot behind Steele here last year|
|Bud Cauley vs. Harris English||It's an SEC battle (Alabama vs. Georgia) between rookies.|
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
For players who want to putt with a blade but enjoy the forgiveness of a mallet, without the bulbous shapes of most mallets, Nike Golf has created the Method Concept putter.
Called a mid-mallet by the company, the club features an eye-catching red blade-like face with a black D-shaped steel ring connecting to the blade. Two-thirds of the putter’s weight is in the black ring, moving the center of gravity down and back in the putter, helping to create a truer roll.
“We are giving consumers something new and something better,” Nike Golf designer David Franklin said. “There’s a reason the shape is the way it is. It allows us to infuse vital science and powerful technology that delivers a very high MOI in a relatively small package.”
The same polymetal groove insert found in other Method Core putters is in the Method Concept’s red face. Such an eye-catching red face figures to get consumers’ attention on crowded putter racks.
The putter will be available to the public Feb. 17 and comes in standard and belly lengths.
PUMA POULTER: Ian Poulter has his own clothing line but will wear Puma shoes and belts, Cobra Puma Golf announced Wednesday. He has played Cobra clubs for five years.
He’ll wear the company’s new Neo Classic Pro-Type shoe, which will be available to the public on a limited basis this summer.
RICKIE MOVING: Rickie Fowler, famous in part for his Puma clothing especially his all-orange look, is expected to be named to Cobra’s stable of professionals soon.
He will still play the Titleist ProV1x and wear Titleist gloves, but a big clue to what driver he’ll play is obvious in Cobra’s new AMP driver . Fowler can always find room for a little more orange.
CHAPPELL’S NEW HOME: Kevin Chappell, 84th in FedExCup points last season as a rookie with three top-10s including a third-place finish at the U.S. Open and playoff defeat at the Valero Texas Open, has moved from Bridgestone to Nike Golf for 2012.
Nike announced Wednesday that Chappell, in the field this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, signed a multi-year deal and will play the company’s clubs and 20XI ball while also wearing Nike shoes and apparel.
BACKUP PLAN: Webb Simpson, second in last year’s FedExCup, went to a backup Titleist 909D3 driver for the final two rounds, believing his primary driver’s face may have cracked during the second round on Saturday, Golf World Monday explained . Titleist shipped him another driver so he’d have two ready for the Sony Open in Hawaii.
WINNER’S BAG: Steve Stricker at the Hyundai
Tournament of Champions:
Driver: Titleist 909D3 8.5 degrees (UST Proforce V2 shaft)
3-wood: Titleist 906F2 13 degrees
Hybrid: Titleist 910H 19
Irons: Titleist AP2 3-PW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 54, 60 degrees
Putter: Odyssey White Hot #2
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – College football and Game 3 of the World Series were popular topics of conversation for PGA TOUR players in the Twitter world Saturday evening.
Luke Donald, in particular, had a vested interest in Northwestern’s game wit Penn State. After all, the world No. 1 – who will make one last attempt to overtake Webb Simpson for the PGA TOUR money title on Sunday – was supposed to be the honorary captain.
Kevin Chappell, the UCLA product who is tied with Justin Leonard for the lead at 14 under entering the final round of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, didn’t seem to have a vested interest in any one game.
And Paul Stankowski, who starts the final round at 1 under and 177th on the money list, probably summed up most player’s feelings.
got any good live streaming websites tweeps? Trying to find
NU/Penn St. Not showing it in my hotel in Orlando!
Got it thanks! Looks like NU needs a strong finish, just like
What a great night to watch some football and the WS. Hoping for
some good games.
@Kevin_Chappell nice playing Kevin. Go get it tomorrow
@ArronOberholser thanks man
It's hard 2 believe I've spent 28 of the last 31 days AWAY from
my family.Tonight I'll be HOME! #theOtherSideOfTheDREAMJob
Everybody knows Luke & Webb are paired 2gthr today. 1vs2 on
$list. Brain Gay & I are also paired 2gthr. 1vs2 in Sand Saves!
Oh it's On!!!
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Kevin Chappell won't face the same kind of pressure some of the other rookies will on Sunday at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. After all, he already has his PGA TOUR card locked for the 2012 season.
What Chappell doesn't have, though, is a win -- and Sunday offers him a golden opportunity to pick up that breakthrough victory, fittingly at Walt Disney World Resort, the place where dreams come true.
Chappell, who shot 66 on Saturday. will start the final round tied for the lead with Justin Leonard at 14 under. They'll play in the final group with Bio Kim, the youngest player on the PGA TOUR, who trails by one and, in contrast to Chappell, is fighting to keep his card.
"I can go out there much more relaxed," Chappell said. "I have nothing to lose."
Chapppell, who tied for third at the U.S. Open and was runner-up at the Valero Texas Open, said he learned a lot from his amateur partners in the first two rounds -- Carlos Pena and Jerome Bettis. The Chicago Cubs first baseman, in particular, had advice that resonated with Chappell.
"I've been trying to grill them this week," Chappell explained.
"... Trying to kind of pick their brains on how they can stay fresh
throughout their season, especially Carlos. He had to play 162
games. We play 26 to 30 events a year, and I was kind of asking him
what do you do to feel fresh every day, because that's something
I've struggled with all year is trying to go play a tournament and
feel like I just came from home when maybe you've been on the road
for seven weeks.
"And Carlos said, "When I don't try, that's when I have my good games." Went to the U. S. Open, didn't have any expectations; hadn't played good until San Antonio, just try to let it go. Oh, okay. Maybe there's a correlation there. And so far so good."