Chappell heating up on Nationwide Tour
The Nationwide Tour is something of an open society, allowing a nonexempt player on a hot streak to set up shop on the circuit. That’s exactly what Kevin Chappell has done.
The 2008 NCAA champ is making his fourth consecutive start this week at Boise after finishing 11th or better in the past three events.
Chappell started the year without status on either the PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour. His tie for sixth at Pebble Beach in February was good for almost $200,000 and was a nice start to the season, but it was starting to look like it might be his only highlight of the year.
After Pebble, he missed five consecutive cuts on the two tours, including a first-round 86 at the Memorial. Chappell’s year has turned around because a decision made just a few weeks before that poor performance.
“It was frustrating,” Chappell said, “but I think that’s why I needed something new. I kind of got a fresh perspective on things."
In mid-May, he decided to start seeing swing instructor Nick Bradley after reading Bradley’s book, “The 7 Laws of the Golf Swing.” He’s finished 11th or better in the past three Nationwide Tour events, and is playing this week in Boise.
“That’s helped with my ballstriking, and getting the ball in play a lot more than I was off the tee," he said. "That’s meant a lot more birdie putts, and when I’m putting it well I’m going to make a lot of birdies.”
He’s 32 under par in his past three events. The $48,000 he earned in that stretch has moved him to No. 95 on the tour’s money list; the top 100 at season’s end earn conditional status, while the top 60 get in the Tour Championship and are fully exempt for 2010.