18 Things: How Chappell met his match
May 31, 2017
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Kevin and Elizabeth Chappell met in August of 2011 at their friend's wedding. (Photo c/o Chappell family)
Their roommates always thought they’d be a perfect match.
But UCLA and the University of Montana are located about 1,200 miles apart. So setting Kevin Chappell and Elizabeth Petrie up on a date was problematic, at best.
When Craig and Andrea Leslie, got married in August of 2011, though, Chappell and Petrie, who were both in the wedding party, finally met. And they found out their friends were right.
“We totally hit it off,” Elizabeth said.
By then, she had graduated with a degree in athletic training and moved back to Seattle. Kevin, who was playing the Web.com Tour, took advantage of an off week to fly up and take her out on a date.
“I didn't know whether to be impressed or worried,” Elizabeth said, chuckling.
She also didn’t know quite what to think of Kevin’s line of work.
“He always joked that one of my first questions to him was, well, what's your fallback; what's your real job,” Elizabeth said. “And he's like, no, I'm pretty good at this.”Kevin Chappell ranks 29th in the FedExCup Standings. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Elizabeth, who had just bought her first home, was working two jobs and determined to live independently. She was intrigued by Kevin, though, and she made her first road trip to the Albertsons Boise Open.
“I was like, oh, so you guys play for money, and he's like, yes, I've been telling you that,” Elizabeth said. “So I suppose I was a breath of fresh air for him.”
While Kevin was uber-focused on golf growing up, Elizabeth didn’t know anything about the game. Not that it mattered, though.
She was an athlete, a fitness fiend who had been a student trainer for the Montana football team. She has worked diligently to broaden her husband’s horizons, too. Think hiking and biking, kayaking and other water sports.
“When we first met, I was doing sprint triathlons,” Elizabeth said. “… If he had a free moment, he was golfing, and now we're trying to get him more involved in this kind of stuff.
“He's gotten really good at wake surfing now, so now we'll go out and see who can ride the longest -- all those silly fun games that you do when you're still thinking you're a kid.”
Their relationship didn’t take long to turn serious. Within a year, Elizabeth had quit her jobs and moved to Arizona to be with Kevin, who won his first PGA TOUR event in April.Kevin Chappell celebrates his Valero Texas Open victory with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children, Wyatt and Collins. (Scott Kunath/PGA TOUR)
“He said I think this is something forever, but like we've never lived in the same place,” she recalls. At the same time, Elizabeth says, “we both just kind of knew from the beginning that this was meant to be.”
Even so, Kevin also wanted to be sure Elizabeth understood the kind of life she could be signing up for if the couple took the next step.
“He was like, ‘listen, this is my livelihood, this is what it looks like day in and day out,’” she said. “I know I'm going to miss a lot of birthdays or you're going to go to weddings on your own, or if we have kids you're going to be the predominant parent because I'm going to be on the road a lot, and is that OK with you.”
It was more than OK. Kevin proposed in October of 2012 at CordeValle Golf Club after a practice round for what is now known as the Safeway Open.
Turns out, the practical Kevin, the man who wanted to make sure his wife understood the life of a professional golfer, was quite the romantic.
“He said, let's listen to some music and drink some wine on the patio,” Elizabeth recalled. “It was a beautiful day. I'm like, yeah, that sounds great, whatever. So we listened to some music, and that Train song ‘Marry Me’ came on, and he got down on one knee.”“We both just kind of knew from the beginning that this was meant to be.” (Photo c/o Chappell family)
She said yes, of course, and the couple celebrated at dinner that night with her family whom Kevin had flown in for the surprise. Kevin and Elizabeth were married 11 months later.
The family has grown to four in the last two years. Wyatt just turned 2 while Collins was born in January. Having two in diapers isn’t daunting for Elizabeth, and this way once Wyatt is in school his little sister won’t be far behind.
“Kevin always says being a mother for me is the most natural thing he's ever seen anyone do, and I genuinely love it,” she said.
Of course, no one knows a TOUR player better than his wife. So now that you know a little more about the couple, Elizabeth gives us 18 things you might not know about her husband below.Elizabeth says her husband always makes time for his family despite his busy travel schedule. (Photo c/o Chappell family)
1. Kevin is a huge San Francisco Giants fan. We watch most of the games on our iPad while on the road.
2. Kevin is extremely loyal to those in his closest circle.
3. He is the fun parent, always on the ground being mischievous with our kids.Elizabeth says that her husband enjoys being the "fun parent." (Photo c/o Chappell family)
4. Kevin is a checklist kind of guy. If I need something done around the house I have to add it to his checklist.
5. Despite his busy travel schedule, Kevin always makes time to do things as a family.
6. On off weeks you'll find Kevin drinking a Negra Modelo while listening to Garth Brooks. He can sing every song ever written by the country superstar.
7. He has a 4-inch scar on his knee from splitting it open while playing baseball. It looks like he got bit by a shark and that's what he tells anyone who asks.
8. He has extreme FOMO (fear of missing out).
9. Kevin auditioned to play Dennis in the movie Dennis the Menace.
10. Kevin is constantly searching for a new hobby. This search has introduced him to water sports, fishing, wake-surfing, and Spike Ball on a floating dock.
11. Kevin hates strawberries because he thinks the seeds look like blackheads. He is currently trying to convince our son not to eat them.
12. Kevin had never beaten me or his sister-in-law in a game of Horse until we played on our son’s little basketball hoop. His celebration was similar to that at the Valero Texas Open.
Kevin Chappell holes an 8-footer to win Valero
13. Kevin has an innate ability to carry on a conversation with anyone. He always comes home with fascinating stories from the members of his pro-am groups.
14. Kevin avidly watches UCLA football and basketball and yells, “Go Bruins!” at anyone wearing USC gear.
Kevin Chappell's yardage book pays tribute to his alma mater, UCLA. (Scott Kunath/PGA TOUR)
15. Kevin's godmother ran a summer program for the Special Olympics and Kevin volunteered every summer growing up. The program has a special place in his heart.
16. We are both allergic to gluten and always carry GoMacro bars when in a pinch for a healthy snack. He works hard on his fitness and we enjoy going to the gym together.
17. Kevin believes a ball only has one birdie and therefore changes balls after each birdie.
18. Kevin is fascinated by conspiracy theories and will stay up for hours clicking on YouTube links.