Chappell picks up first TOUR win
April 23, 2017
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
Shot of the Day
Kevin Chappell's clutch putt for the win is the Shot of the DayIn the final round of the 2017 Valero Texas Open, Kevin Chappell stuffs his 89-yard approach into within 8 feet then drains it on the 72nd hole to claim his first win on the PGA TOUR.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – News and notes from Sunday’s final round of the Valero Texas Open, with Kevin Chappell winning for the first time in his PGA TOUR career. Click here for the Daily Wrap-up.
MAYBE IT WAS FATE FOR CHAPPELL
Kevin Chappell’s first PGA TOUR came well before he earned his TOUR card. It came soon after he turned pro, in 2008, and it was the Valero Texas Open. Back then, the tournament was held in the fall and was played at LaCantera.
Then there was Chappell’s runner-up finish at Valero in 2011 during his rookie season on TOUR, this time at TPC San Antonio, the host course for the first time.
Then there was the tie for fourth last year, another one of his near-misses.
So it seems only fitting that if any tournament was destined to be Chappell’s breakthrough win, it’s the Valero.
“Couldn’t happen at a better place for me,” Chappell said. “… To get it here, to get the job done here means a lot.”
It seems obvious that Chappell will be a horse for this course for years to come. And with a growing family – his second child was born earlier this year – the resort environment will keep him coming back. One day his kids will be old enough to play in the water park.
“It’s a course that really fits me eye,” Chappell said. “It’s great for my family, getting to stay at the resort.”
KEOPKA SETTLES FOR SECOND
Brooks Koepka wanted to go for it with his second shot. He really wanted to attempt reaching the par-5 18th green in two, give himself a chance for an eagle and perhaps post the target number of 12 under. With his length, he thought he could cover the 293 yards to the flag after bombing his tee shot.
“But my caddie (Ricky Elliott) was kind of pulling the reins back and he wanted me to lay up,” Koepka said. “It was probably a good thing we did.”
Koepka knocked it his third shot to 3 feet for an easy birdie to complete a 7-under 65 that moved him to 11 under. That tied him for the lead with Chappell, who had three holes left. After Koepka signed his scorecard, he waited to see if Chappell could break the tie.
Chappell did. Facing a similar third shot as Koepka at the 18th, he knocked it to 8 feet and converted the birdie putt.
In retrospect, it was Koepka’s second-round 74 that doomed him this week.
“The second round killed us,” he said. “You put yourself in a good spot the first day and play like crap – you’ve got to have four good rounds out here. You can’t get by playing a couple.”Kevin Chappell claimed his first PGA TOUR title in his 180th PGA TOUR start. (Marianna Massey/Getty Images)
BEST RESULT FOR TWAY
In his 44th start on the PGA TOUR, Kevin Tway notched his best result, a tie for third after his 3-under 69 on Sunday. Tway’s previous best result was a tie for 26th at the 2014 Travelers Championship.
Tway briefly shared the lead with Chappell on the front side after three birdies in his first four holes put him at 9 under. But a double bogey on the sixth cooled the momentum.
“A little hiccup, which was unfortunate,” Tway said. “Hung in there after that and pretty pleased with how I played.”
Tway’s lone victory as a pro came in 2014 on the Web.com Tour. He’s hoping his performance in San Antonio will spur him to take the next step.
“I’ve always known I was good,” he said. “I just kind of get in my own sometimes.”
CALL OF THE DAY
Another monkey gone
While the monkey off Kevin Chappell’s back disappeared with his first PGA TOUR win, Camilo Villegas also rid himself of another, albeit, smaller monkey.
Villegas entered this week having missed five consecutive cuts and he was in danger of making it six late in his second round. But he rallied with a couple of birdies, and then put himself in contention on the weekend before finishing tied for 10th at 6 under.
In fact, Villegas was just one shot off the lead after four consecutive birdies on the front side. But a bogey-double bogey start to his back nine derailed his momentum. Still, the tie for 10th is his best result since his playoff loss last fall at The RSM Classic.
“Yeah, got that monkey off my back,” said Villegas, who’s playing out of the Past Champion category. “This game, if you start going in the wrong direction, that hole gets pretty small and the monkey gets heavier.
“It was nice to play the way I did on Friday afternoon to make the cut. … I made mistakes at 10 and 11 that got me out of contention, but I kept my composure. It was a good week.”
BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Of course haha. Hope it don't wash off 😂 https://t.co/ZaCMtn0Rsq— Andrew'BEEF'Johnston (@BeefGolf) April 24, 2017
180 starts.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 23, 2017
1 win. 🏆
The wait is FINALLY over. pic.twitter.com/8hFSX6zDp5