Kevin Chappell makes late run for 54-hole lead at Valero Texas Open

Kevin Chappell Valero Texas Open Getty Images

Kevin Chappell makes late run for 54-hole lead at Valero Texas Open

PGA Tour

Kevin Chappell makes late run for 54-hole lead at Valero Texas Open

Here is a recap of Saturday’s third round of the 2017 Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course in San Antonio, Texas:

LEADING: Is Kevin Chappell finally ready for his first PGA Tour win? The 30-year-old has six runner-up finishes and three thirds on his PGA Tour resume but no victories yet. It may have been most agonizing last year, when he had four of those seconds and five top-3 showings overall. The drought could end this week, as Chappell holds the 54-hole lead at the Valero Texas Open. Chappell birdied Nos. 14, 16 and 17 on a difficult, breezy day to move to 8 under and one ahead entering the final round. It was a topsy-turvy round early for Chappell, who made just two pars (amongst three birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey) on the front nine. But a steady three birdies and six pars on the back nine gave him the 71 and the lead. Chappell had struggled much of the early 2016-17 season, doing nothing better than T-35 in any event. That is until a T-7 at the Masters. Chappell also finished T-4 at Valero last year and was a runner-up finisher in 2011. But that first win still beckons.

CHASING: Branden Grace and John Huh are tied for second at 7 under. Grace posted a 2-under 70 and Huh a 1-under 71 in the third round. Ryan Palmer, who has finished in the top six here each of the last two years, posted the day’s best round (4-under 68) to move from T-36 to T-4. Consecutive 68s in fact have him 6 under overall. He’s tied for fourth there in a huge logjam that includes 36-hole co-leaders Tony Finau and Bud Cauley (third-round 74s), Cameron Smith (73), Kevin Tway (72), Carl Pettersson (71) and past Valero Texas Open champion Martin Laird (71).

SHOT OF THE DAY: We would give this to Dominic Bozzelli for coming ONE inch away from a hole-in-one at the par-4 17th, but there’s no video of that event. Without footage, we move onto a different eagle (not of the tap-in variety) at this hole. Huh pulled off this miraculous bunker hole-out for an incredible eagle at 17.

QUOTABLE: “I just needed to find a rhythm. Obviously, the golf course hit me in the chin real hard early and I just couldn’t find a rhythm. … To make the turn at only 2 over after some of the places I hit it, I was confident that if I could get to 14 tee at 2 over or better, I think I could post a score.” – Kevin Chappell

CHIP SHOTS:  Brooks Koepka jumps 24 spots to T-12 at 4 under thanks to a third-round 70. … Camilo Villegas shoots 69 to jump 35 spots to T-12 at that 4-under number. … Bob Estes, 51, and Robby Shelton, 21, both shoot 75 to drop nine spots to T-12. … Jimmy Walker likely puts himself out of contention as a 74 moves him back nine spots to T-19 at 3 under. … Defending champion Charley Hoffman is eight back at even par (T-35) after a third-round 73. … Brendan Steele drops 33 spots to T-59 at 3 over after a 78. … Bozzelli plays his final nine holes in 7-over 43 to shoot 76 despite that near ace on a par 4. Bozzelli, once 5 under and sniffing the lead on this day, is 3 over and T-59.

UP NEXT: Sunday’s final round will be on Golf Channel from 1-2:30 p.m. ET and then will move to CBS, which will broadcast the remainder from 3-6 p.m. ET. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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