Kevin Chappell Sheds Bridesmaid Role
Posted by: mike April 26th, 2017
By James McAfee
Kevin Chappell finally got a monkey off his back when he rolled in a nine-foot putt on the final green at TPC San Antonio to win the Valero Texas Open.
It was his first win on the PGA Tour after 180 starts and will allow him to silence questions about when he’s going to get his hands on a championship trophy.
“It’s just a big relief for me,” the 30-year-old Californian told reporters. “I don't have to answer that question anymore."
"Feel like I have a base to kind of jump off from with my career moving forward,” he added, pointing how now he might get into the conversation for the Ryder Cup and the President’s Cup.
“It couldn't happen at a better place for me," he added, referring to the fact he made his first PGA Tour start in this event back in 2008 when it was held at LaCantera and then earned the first of his six career runner-up finishes in 2011 at the Greg Norman-designed TPC course.
"Lot of hard work went into this and I don't think I would have it any other way," Chappell said. "Those people that know me know I do everything the hard way, and 180 starts later that's pretty hard."
Facing a similar putt to the one 2016 champion Charley Hoffman made, Chappell duplicated the feat and enjoyed an emotional moment just like Hoffman did.
Two weeks earlier at the Masters, Chappell gained some momentum and confidence in his game with a tie for seventh place.
Chappell carried the lead into the final round and led most of the way until Brooks Koepka birdied the final hole to move even with him at minus 11. Koepka walked all the way up to the green before walking back to wedge to three feet and make his birdie, finishing off a final round seven-under-par 65.
Tony Finau also streaked into contention with four birdies on the back side, but hit his tee shot near a cactus and finished with a bogey to fall into a tie for third place at minus nine with Kevin Tway.
James McAfee is currently the editor of the Knox County News-Courier in Texas. His articles also available at www.theaposition.com. Former editor with Golf Digest and numerous newspapers in Texas and a golf administrator for more than 20 years with the Northern Texas PGA and the Dallas District Golf Association.