Chappell fights ailment for 6-under 66 at Players
PHOTOS: Golf equipment at 2013 Players
Our David Dusek is on the range at TPC Sawgrass, checking out the gear in the bags of PGA Tour pros.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. –– Something about Kevin Chappell’s health and Players Championship week just doesn’t mix.
In 2011, Chappell got food poisoning and shot a third-round 80 en route to a T-69 finish. Last year, he had the flu and missed the cut.
He’s now playing in his third Players this week at TPC Sawgrass and still can’t catch a break.
“Just kind of congested this year,” Chappell said. “I’ve been trying to get a lot of rest and eat the right things and take the right drugs out there to keep me somewhat sane.”
But unlike the previous two seasons, Chappell isn’t letting his physical state affect his golf game. He shot 6-under 66 Thursday to move to 9 under for the tournament. He nearly shot one stroke better, but closed with a bogey at the par-4 18th.
“Kind of got a little spacey out there at the end of the round, but I made it,” said Chappell, who made six birdies and an eagle, the latter coming at the par-5 11th, a hole that had yielded five eagles by the time Chappell had finished his round.
It’s been a hit-or-miss season thus far for Chappell, similar to the one he had during the 2011 Tour season in which he had a runner-up finish, two third-place finishes and 13 missed cuts in 26 events. He finished T-8 at the Humana Challenge in January to open his season, and also placed T-6 at the Shell Houston Open and T-15 at the Valero Texas Open. But in his other nine starts this year on Tour, Chappell has seven missed cuts and a T-80 finish at Wells Fargo.
In simpler terms, Chappell struggles to get to the weekend, but once he does, he rarely plays poorly. His final-round scoring average is 66 (four rounds), which is tied for first on Tour. In contrast, he’s 158th and T-104 in first- and second-round scoring, respectively.
“My good finishes have been great,” Chappell said. “My weekend scoring average is nice, just have to get there (to the weekend). I haven’t done that too many times, but looking forward to the challenge of this weekend.”
Chappell called the weekend at the Players a “different animal.” He just has to hope he can tame the Players Stadium course a couple more times, and get a little more rest.