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."
EDISON, N.J. – Granted, Harrison Frazar couldn't take advantage of the short par-4 18th, two-putting for one final par.
But he has just finished off a bogey-free round of 64 to set the pace early in the first round of The Barclays. Only two other players who have at least made the turn have yet to drop a shot to par -- Steve Stricker and Kevin Chappell, both of whom are through 15 holes.
Frazar leads Adam Scott and Jonathan Byrd by two strokes. Scott has two holes remaining while Byrd has three.
With two months to go before the first tee shot is struck in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, much remains to be sorted out.
The top 125 players in the FedExCup standings are eligible to begin the four-event Playoffs series at The Barclays, which will be held Aug. 25-28 at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. A year ago, it took 380 points to make the field for The Barclays – and a total of 83 players have already earned that many points in 2011.
Seven rookies are among those 83 -- including Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (No. 19); HP Byron Nelson Championship winner Keegan Bradley (No. 22); Bob Hope Classic winner Jhonattan Vegas (No. 24); Valero Texas Open winner Brendan Steele (No. 31); Robert Karlsson, who recently lost in a sudden-death playoff to Harrison Frazar at the FedEx St. Jude Classic; Chris Kirk (No. 50), who tied for second at the Shell Houston Open; and Kevin Chappell (No. 61), who tied for third last week at the U.S. Open.
Another rookie, Scott Stallings, is knocking on the door as well. at No. 84 in the standings.
The history of the FedExCup has shown that it takes more than just qualifying for the Playoffs to make a run at the title and the $10 million bonus, though. In the four previous season-long competitions, only three rookies total have managed to qualify for the Playoffs and advance to the finale at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola: Marc Leishman (2009); Andres Romero (2008); and Brandt Snedeker (2007). All three went on to win Rookie of the Year that season.
Of the players who were in the FedExCup top 30 entering The Barclays in 2010, all but eight continued their strong play through the Playoffs and advanced to the TOUR Championship. And while all 30 players at the TOUR Championship will have a mathematical chance to win the FedExCup, the top five in the standings control their own destiny and can win the FedExCup with a victory in Atlanta. So position in the FedExCup standings entering the Playoffs is key.
With that in mind, Bubba Watson could regain the No. 1 position the FedExCup this week at the Travelers Championship, where he won his first PGA TOUR title last year. Watson, currently No. 2, is only 38 points behind leader Luke Donald, who is idle this week. Watson gained the FedExCup lead in May when he won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and held it for five weeks, until Donald took over when he tied for seventh at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
Of the other players in the current top 20 who are competing at the Travelers Championship, Nick Watney (No. 6), David Toms (No. 8), Brandt Snedeker (No. 12), Martin Laird (No. 15), Webb Simpson (No. 16), Aaron Baddeley (No. 17) and Hunter Mahan (No. 18) could take over the FedExCup lead this week. All but Watney and Toms would need a win to do so.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- Robert Garrigus and Kevin Chappell low Americans?
Who'd have figured that?
Certainly not Garrigus, who couldn't even conceive of someone telling him at the start of the week he'd finish 10 shots off the lead -- let alone tied for third and low American -- and shoot under par everyday day.
"If you had told me I was going to do that,'' he said, "I might have slapped you in the face. I just didn't understand the scores."
What he did understand? Walking off the 18th green.
"It gave me goosebumps for sure,'' he said. "That was one of the things I will never forget. Besides it being Father's Day and to have my son there afterwards and everything, this is a pretty special day. And to make that putt, I get into Augusta, that's probably one of the coolest things I'll ever get to say is I am playing at Augusta next year."
Chappell might agree.
For those of you who don't know, Chappell is a 24-year-old UCLA grad and PGA TOUR rookie. He's the one who closed with a 66 and wasn't sure what this would mean. Garrigus is the 33-year-old who hits it a mile and putts with a tiny -- think junior club -- putter. He closed with a 70.
"Being low American, that's great,'' said Chappell, whose finish, coupled with a tie for second at the Valero Texas Open, ensures him his 2012 TOUR card. "I don't think the state of American golf is where everyone expects it to be, but I think it shows that someone like myself can play out here, and I think it's definitely going to end up going in the right direction here sometime soon.
Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III led the next low All-American group (Heath Slocum, Brandt Snedeker) at 3 under in a tie for 11th. The 47-year-old Love struggled with his putter all week and bristled a bit at the notion that American golf was struggling.
"Really I guess a little bit of an exception with Lee Westwood, but most of them are guys that are over here playing a lot, week in and week out,'' Love said. "Rory (McIlroy) I guess we've seen him a lot in the last year. Everything goes in streaks, you know. We might be talking about how four Americans win the next four.
"We don't look at it that I way, we're just playing the golf course. We don't play nationalities, we're playing golf and trying to win. If it's Kevin Chappell that shoots 17‑under or Rory, it doesn't make any difference to me, I got whipped."
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Don't look now but the man who won the 2008 Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation's top collegiate player is making a big move up the leaderboard at the Golden Bear’s tournament.
Kevin Chappell, who was an All-American at UCLA, set the tone for the day when he birdied his first two holes in the third round of the Memorial. He gave one back when he missed the green at the par-3 fourth but got that back -- and then some -- with a 5-foot eagle at No. 5.
Chappell got up and down from the right greenside bunker for another birdie at the par-5 seventh hole and went on to make the turn in 32. He's 6 under for the tournament and three strokes off the lead held by Steve Stricker, who tees off at 1:40.
Chappell is bidding to become the fifth rookie winner on the PGA TOUR -- and the second straight after Keegan Bradley's playoff win on Sunday. His best finish this year is a tie or second at the Valero Texas Open where he finished one stroke behind fellow rookie Brendan Steele.
Chappell led the Bruins to the 2008 NCAA title. He was the only player to break par that week at Purdue's Kampen Course, and became the first UCLA player to win the NCAA individual title.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The first two players finishing the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship had widely varying levels of success.
Matt Jones polished off a round of 69 that included six birdies while his playing partner, Kevin Chappell, struggled to an 80. Chappell had made the field for his first PLAYERS Championship when Jeff Maggert withdrew and shot even par in his first two rounds.
There are several other early starters who are putting up low numbers.
Peter Hanson, who birdied his last two holes on Friday to make the cut on the number. is making the most of his opportunity on the weekend. He has yet to make a bogey and is 6 under through14 holes – for the day and the tournament.
Angel Cabrera also turned in 32 and has played his first 15 holes in 5 under to make another big jump up the leaderboard.