Chappell edges Koepka for breakthrough win at Valero

24 April, 2017, 05:41 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
  • Daniel Dunn  Icon Sportswire

On Saturday, Kevin Chappell birdied three of his final five holes to finish at 8-under-par 208 and seize a one-shot lead over Brendan Grace of South Africa and John Huh in cool and gusty weather that made the Oaks Course, already one of the toughest on tour, even more hard than usual.

Chappell birdied the 72nd hole to shoot a final-round four-under 68 and win the Valero Texas Open on Sunday at TPC San Antonio.

Chappell clung to a one-shot lead after Koepka birdied No. 11 with a 23-foot putt and another one at the next hole putting inside seven feet. He hit a wedge to 3 feet for birdie on the 18th hole for a Sunday-best 65 that momentarily tied him for the lead. Chappell, a six-time PGA runner-up who was seventh at the Masters two weeks ago, put approaches at the par-5 14th and par-4 17th inches from the cup to set up birdies and sank a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-3 16th to seize the lead.

Tony Finau and Kevin Tway tied for third at nine under. "After shooting 74 on Thursday, having to play good on Friday just to make the cut, and then to finish top six is huge".

South African Branden Grace and American John Huh are tied for second at seven under. He hit his third shot into a water hazard and bogeyed the par-5 hole to finish at 9 under for the tournament. "I had a bad swing on 13 and a bogey but I just stayed positive and stayed calm and was able to string in three birdies in a row and get one on 17 and then I had the bad one on 18".

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"It says something about me and the growth that I've made", he was quoted as saying by pgatour.com. Grace fired a 70, making two birdies and a bogey on both the front and back nines.

"I knew my game was in a good place", said Chappell, who took the week off after Augusta to celebrate the second birthday of his oldest son, Wyatt.

CHAMPIONS: Fred Funk and Jeff Sluman teamed to shoot a course-record 10-under par on Saturday to take the opening-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge at Ridgedale, Mo.

Kevin Chappell is now a PGA Tour victor.

Over the past two years, Palmer has finished three and five strokes short of the leader, and has 14-straight starts in the tournament.

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