November 8 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, especially when the wind is blowing 25 to 30 mph.
Kevin Chappell was happy to just get his round over with early, and he was just as pleased with his 2-under 68 to take the early clubhouse lead halfway through The McGladrey Classic.
"You hit some not‑so‑perfect shots and get some bad breaks with the wind gusting and you get exposed really quickly," he said. "I was fortunate to come to that realization that there's some luck involved today and that maybe for a period of time I was one of the luckier guys out here."
Chappell recovered from a 3-over start in his first three holes, making four birdies, an eagle and just one bogey the rest of the round to get to 7 under and the clubhouse lead.
With most of the second round still to go, a slim lead might otherwise not stand up. But with the wind whipping across Sea Island Golf Club, Friday has been a different story so far.
Chappell's only mistake was watching Brian Harman hit his approach shot on the third hole.
"The wind is blowing hard in and off to the right, so he draws back, steps into it, ball flies pretty straight," Chappell said. "That was pretty impressive. I draw it right‑handed. Wind gusts like right at impact, ball gets riding up in the air and gets left of the green."
The ball went into a hazard short and left of the green and Chappell never found it. He went on to make double bogey.
The rest of the round, however, the ball seemed to bounce his way.
"Any time you judge the wind correctly and you hit some iron shots close, I think there's some luck involved," Chappell said. "I hit two perfect shots on that par‑5, 15, and you know, I made a 25‑footer down the hill (for eagle). It was kind of sitting on the right edge and the wind blows and the ball falls in the hole. That's lucky."
Chappell said he couldn't recall two days more different following an opening round that was completely benign with no wind.
"It always could be better, but you know, the goal on a day like today when you're in the lead is to not play yourself out of it," he said.